The Southern Cross : May 2013
Page 20 May 2013 www.thesoutherncross.org.au The Southern Cross | schools Adelaide teacher, author and conference presenter Mark Le Messurier spent time recently revealing his long-term “recipe” for raising emotionally resilient children to parents and staff of St Joseph’s Memorial School in Norwood. The workshop attracted about 40 people and is part of the school’s commitment to engaging parents in their children’s learning and behaviours. “Emotional resilience is a person’s capacity to cope and make sense of life’s inevitable challenges; to find positive ways to turn a setback into an advantage,” Mr Le Messurier told the March 27 gathering. “In today’s world, resiliency is valued.” He said emotional resilience was largely an interplay between genetic and environmental influences which required a life-long journey of learned behaviour. The author of six published books said, his “recipe for resilience” included the 10 C’s: Confidence: parents need to radiate love and acceptance; Competence: help kids build a sense they can problem solve, can handle situations and can make decisions; Connection: a child’s connection to peers is crucial to emotional development; Change: parents need to alter negative scripts into positive points of view; Contribution: Give children a chance to contribute to the world; Coping: teach children that life is full of injustice and is not perfect; Control: understand tantrums at any age are a child’s attempt to control their environment when feeling unsure or unsafe; Communication: be a listener first. Listen really well to them; actually say in your head: keep quiet, keep quiet, keep quiet; Competition: we need to be mindful of developing healthy and structured competition rather than everybody being a winner all the time; Common sense: be practical and understand; don’t over- react...when your child is unhappy but work to find independent ways to help them recover and then problem solve. Mr Le Messurier lives in Adelaide and has spent the past 20 years in schools and has been involved in special education, adult education, child-centred education and community education projects. He is a recipient of the prestigious Australian National Excellence in Teaching Award. Building resilience in boys and girls The first public invitation to join an international movement promoting a sustainable world led by a team of Adelaide Catholic colleges was launched last month. The Generation Waking Up Experience (Wake-Up) attracted about 35 students, parents, friends and teachers to an inaugural workshop at Sacred Heart College, Somerton Park, on April 8. The Wake-Up launch was an initiative of Marymount College, Sacred Heart College Middle School and Sacred Heart College Senior. Sacred Heart College students led the workshop – the first multi-generational Wake-Up in South Australia to educate and challenge children, youth, parents and grandparents together on their role in promoting and protecting a sustainable world. “We are trying to ignite a passion and commitment to a sustainable environment, social justice and thriving relationships between people across all generations,” said Wake-Up coordinator Sr Margie Abbott. Sr Margie said the workshops involved youth leaders using multimedia and interactive processes to highlight global challenges and opportunities and the role of humanity in protecting the environment and to driving systematic change. “What’s great about this workshop is that it’s adolescents teaching each other and waking each other up to a number of ways to care for the planet, to care for themselves and to care for each other,” she said. Sr Margie has helped co- ordinate three Wake Up youth-based workshops in Adelaide Catholic schools since November 2011. The first, at Marymount College, was attended by 70 students – 20 of whom showed interest in running more workshops. Earlier this year a group, including students from Sacred Heart Middle School and Sacred Heart Senior School, attended a summer residential training in leadership workshop in Melbourne (where the movement started in June 2011) and has since formed an SA group of youth and adults called Thrive Adelaide. For more information on “Wake Up” visit www.genup. net or contact Sr Margie Abbott on margieabbott@ bigpond.com. LISTEN UP: Adelaide teacher and author Mark Le Messurier giving parents from St Joseph’s Memorial School tips on how to raise emotionally resilient kids. Wake-up call to eco-justice UNITE: (rear L-R) students Maryanne Sexton, Cassie Wilmot, Emma Zeitz, Zoe Nolan and (front L-R) Alice Barrett and Briony Lucas at the first multi-generational Wake-Up launch in South Australia last month. ST MARTIN’S TURNS ORANGE: Mia, along with fellow students, staff and parents from St Martin’s Catholic Primary School, in Greenacres, mixed Harmony Day celebrations with Project Compassion Day fundraising activities on March 21. The school of about 380 students wore orange and odd socks to help raise almost $1200. The Student Representative Council initiated, organised and promoted the event to raise funds for Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion campaign. Stalls sold for a silver coin donation: cakes, cordials, jelly, pop sticks, lucky dips, toss the coin, handball competitions, guess the lollies, second hand books, and raffles. MINDFUL OF MENTAL HEALTH: Staff and students at Saint Ignatius’ College raised $3000 as part of a senior school leaders-led campaign to raise awareness of mental health. Money was raised for Beyond Blue and Project Compassion as part of Bluey Day celebrations at the College on April 11. Students helped sell blue cupcakes, and staged a comedy fashion parade with staff. Bluey Day organiser Gemma Clancy said: “It can be extremely difficult to be a teenager facing the challenges of school, friends and family and all the pressure and expectation that goes along with these; it is especially difficult when you feel you don’t have a support network around you.” The mental health driven campaign will continue throughout the year.