My passion for the welfare of children and teens
I have always had a passion for children’s and teens’ welfare and trained to be a teacher in the early 90s . The philosophy of that time was that the subject taught came second to the child or teen’s wellbeing, shortly to be followed by the mantra “every child matters” . If children were not at ease they would not learn so optimally. This made perfect sense. Fast forward to more modern times and changes in educational ethos and policy, placing more emphasis on academic rigour and less on encouraging individual progress, caused me to question more and more what the system is doing to our young people. Are they learning more? What happens to those who cannot cope, kick back against the system and get permanently excluded? It brought up more questions than answers for me. My training in supporting children’s mental health put into sharp focus what had been at the back of my mind for years, namely that children will not be able to learn if they are in a constant state of fight or flight.
A deeply personal experience
In 2015 my daughter, then in year 6, had two crippling panic attacks which led me to read a book called Calm Kids by Lorraine Murray. As mentioned above I had also witnessed in my teaching job that pupils’ wellbeing was suffering. There was a rise in pupils experiencing anxiety and stress due to an increasingly packed and target driven curriculum which allows little opportunity for children to ‘get off the treadmill’. This affects not only the children but their families. Added to this are those children with ADHD and those on the autistic spectrum for whom school and life in general present particular challenges.
Passion into action
Upon reading Lorraine’s book I felt compelled to train with Lorraine to become a Connected Kids™ tutor left my teaching job of 25 years to set up my company, Wellbeing For Kids UK, in order to help give children coping mechanisms to deal with the stresses of everyday life: school pressures, social media, friendship and family relationship issues being amongst these.
If this resonates with you and you feel I could help your child or children in your school or group then click here for contact details. I look forward to hearing from you.
Becoming a Connected Kids™ trainer
When Lorraine invited me to become a Connected Kids™ trainer I did not hesitate. I felt it only natural to want to enable other adults to become aware of their own stress levels and how to manage those and to teach children and young people these valuable techniques and skills. To equip parents/carers and educators with mindful tools to help the children and young people in their care is very rewarding. I have certainly found that mindful tools have enhanced my teaching and parenting styles and have also made me a more relaxed person in general. Further details of my workshops are to be found here.
BA (Hons) University of Salford
P.G.C.E University of Bristol
Connected Kids™ Trainer