Christmas, warm, fuzzy and fun as it is, can also be painful, lonely and sad. For many of us it’s all of these things together, swinging from one to the other, day to day, hour to hour.
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This piece is dedicated to those feeling loss around this time of year – particularly parents of younger children. Another piece will follow soon for younger people themselves. Sign up over on the right there to get an email from me when that’s posted (or scroll down to underneath this post if you’re on your phone) Don’t forget to check your junk mail to complete the sign-up!
I have a bit of a fascination with the origins of words. As I grew up every new word I asked about was explained to me by my mother in terms of its origin – origin, from the Latin ‘Origo’, meaning beginning, source, rise. You get my drift…
The word ‘discipline’ originates from the Latin to teach, or instruct. When the Middle English folk came along it morphed somewhat into the punishment, ‘mortification’ scourge flavour we are more familiar with today.
Falling on deaf ears
And I find that the words discipline and punishment (from the French Punir meaning rough handling) are often used interchangeably. Which isn’t a great thing, because we now know that punishment isn’t necessarily a good way to discipline. SoI prefer the original meaning of discipline, it’s more effective as a means of changing or adjusting behaviour in the long term. FAR more effective.
So I wrote a piece on the (real life and practical) differences between discipline and punishment, with some ideas on how to do the former more effectively.
So the exams are finally over and you’re thinking “Yay! Stress over!”
And it is for some, but for others a new and unexpected stress has just kicked in. It’s a little trickier than pre-exam stress, because the people around you might assume you are now the embodiment of Zen and relaxation, because technically the exams are over.
I’m (not) fine!!
So you might feel a little less inclined to talk about it because at some level you believe you should be calm now.
But it’s OK, post-exam stress is absolutely normal, albeit unpleasant.
Let’s look at how to deal with it with some ‘Do and Don’t’ suggestions:
I was catching up on my Facebook messages earlier and this post sent to me by a friend really caught my eye. It’s a meme from one of those humour pages on Facebook. Judging by the comments it resonates with most people and they think it’s really funny! (It is too – I mean who hasn’t waited years for a plumber?!!)
Setting boundaries and creating rules that feel reasonable and workable is a real challenge for parents. In recent years, one of the toughest challenges is what to do with all the tech in our homes.
What exact rules can we set? Not just for tweens and teens – but for ourselves too?
This topic emerges on an almost daily basis for me – professionally but also socially. And so I wrote this piece as an offering of guidelines – they are just guidelines. There is no right or wrong, and every family is different. I’m hoping this piece might help and inspire you if you are finding it hard to decide what rules to set with your own kids.
These last days of school see students summarising, timing, perfecting essays/questions etc. Many have finished up completely, emotions are high, end of year ceremonies have begun. Now for the final push.
All eyes are firmly set on the calendar as the final countdown begins.
You’ve probably already heard about the new Calvin Klein advertising campaign. It’s worked, that’s for sure, in that Twitter and Facebook can’t get enough of complaining about it. And of course the pro-sexism and creepy factions can’t get enough of defending it and lashing out at people who recognise it for what it is – blatant sexist glamourisation of and dismissal of sexual harassment.
Last year, Leinster and Ireland prop Jack McGrath helped to launch the IRUPA’s Tackle Your Feelings campaign by revealing that he had suffered in silence for five and a half years following the tragic death of his brother in 2010.
Well.. Ok.. there are probably many things they are not telling you but there’s one in particular we’re talking about here.
One of the benefits of having an almost crystal clear memory (of the horrors) of being an angst-ridden teen is that it helps when you’re an adult to empathize with teen concerns. And whatever your role, parent, teacher, therapist, when you’re trying to help, empathy is far more useful than irritation, helplessness, anger or frustration (speaking from personal experience, that is). You’ll probably be familiar with those feelings..?!