Monthly Archives: November 2017

Listening, do we have time?


I was bullied at my primary school for quite a while by a girl in my class. I used to go home with scratches and bruises and she’d verbally abuse me throughout the day.

She had her own problems going on at home and her frustrations were directed at me and others too.


Do you feel like you have a voice?

How has it impacted me? Well it definitely made me stronger and I’m sure I didn’t just sit back and always stay quiet. Upon reflection, nobody at the school ever sat down to listen to us together. It always seemed to get dealt with separately and never seriously, I don’t remember ever receiving support or guidance at school throughout and it always happened when nobody else was in sight that she’d do it.

We weren’t taught to say how we both felt or express ourselves confidently and hear each other. I didn’t really know how to or feel safe nor courageous enough.  She clearly was crying out for help.

This was quite a while back and I know schools have tighter policies and procedures in place now.

Do you have enough courage?

Over the past 20 years teaching, kids have come to me and said ‘oh so and so said this or that’ etc Quite often I’ll say well did you tell them you don’t like it or let them know how you feel? They’ll often say no, they just got used to an adult fixing the problem for them and didn’t have the courage always to stand up for themselves.

We do a lot of role play in class, even with 4 year olds, to express how we feel and what we want.

Adults can make a big difference

In 1998, I was teaching a Year 3 class with a group girls who constantly fell out. In the end I used to invite them in at lunch for 10 minute conversations where I’d facilitate, so they could hear one another and we’d could role play different scenarios and choices. I was surprised at what a difference this made just giving them a space to each be heard with an adult just there for them. It really did improve things, so I continue to use this approach even with my own kids, but they do still have big fall outs it’s the recovery time that interests me, how do we bounce back and move on and learn from things? How can we respond rather than react, we always have a choice.

Oh I haven’t got time for all that 

A while ago, my son had a few weeks of being in trouble, one day where it went really wrong with so many adults being involved and each telling him off. I said to the teacher, well have you actually sat down to listen to what he has to say and just allow him to speak, even if what he has done is wrong, might it be good to look at other ways he could have behaved and coach him a little?

‘Well, I haven’t got time for all that‘ said the teacher.

Listening, do we have time?

Just some Tuesday musings.


Glugs Wine, Listens to Silence

Are you Tuned in?

Just imagine being together as a family and really listening to each other, responding, and emotionally tuning in. Can you hand on heart say you do this, that nobody is distracted by anything else going on? You are truly present and in the moment… ah nice.  Then the kids have a disagreement, it escalates, and it all goes horribly wrong, (keeping it real) and it does, let’s face it.  What do you do in the eye of the storm – mum or dad in the middle?  Is their argument a result of unresolved conflict,which the kids are too upset about and maybe too immature to let go of.  Perhaps, they haven’t had a space to talk about their upset or be listened to?  Does it ever feel just a little like groundhog day?


Decline in Listening Skills 

Research has found a significant decrease in children’s listening skills over the past decade,  can you guess why? I wonder too if this doesn’t apply to adults and sitting together as a family.  I’ve put together a ‘listening’ programme which  I’m sharing with the children and colleagues  I teach alongside  in school.

Meanwhile, parent(s) finishes meal and glugs more wine and enjoys listening to silence, and tunes out. Silent is listen rearranged.

What do you DO after a family UPSET, how does it leave you feeling and what’s that like?

What do you Need?

How do we create time for family connection, spaces to talk to one another and be heard?

Today, just become AWARE of the above.  And Pause. (a previous blog about Pausing) .  I have a photo of an owl, which reminds me to  listen, notice and be wise. Often, I think of the owl when I have a quiet time or meditate. Perhaps imagery will help you too? (5)

I’ll share listening ideas on my social media page this week. @FrustrationExpert

I hear you

So right now what do you need? What can make family life calmer?

Each month, I’m  creating a regular morning of family connection which will respond to your needs and those of your  family, it will be ‘agile’ and ‘flexible’ and at the moment in Guildford, venue tbc. I hear you.

What do you like best?

What could help you to disconnect from all the busyness of life, to be more present and bonded as a family? Have a read of this link here  and see what you like best about the mornings. Come along with your children to learn some of these simple skills and take them away to use with your family between sessions. You will feel more relaxed, more present to listen and this will filter across family life. Plus they’ll be ongoing support for you between meet ups. If your children prefer not to join you then come by yourself, as I’ll share ideas for you to use at home. 

Seeking Open Hearts & Curious Minds

Please do share this with any family you think would benefit from joining us. I’ve not specified ages, just a willingness to give it a go with an open heart and curious mind.

Jane x