Life mimicking martial art – by Grace

2 02 2015

Life mimicking martial art – by Grace.


The Game of Sparring – by Robert

31 01 2015

The Game of Sparring – by Robert.

When do you ever get to attack your parents with a noodle? By: Chiara

18 01 2015

When do you ever get to attack your parents with a noodle? By: Chiara.

Self Defence by Sofia

11 01 2015

Self Defence by Sofia.

Nurturing Unconditional Kindness

5 12 2013

Nurturing Unconditional Kindness.

Overprotective Parenting

2 02 2013

I confess, I am a borderline overprotective mother.  I wouldn’t go as far as saying I bubble wrap my kids but I have driven the occasional forgotten lunch to school and chased after  my children with hats and mitts on cold days.  I do not do my kids homework but I do follow their academic performance, where my main concern is knowing that they understand material they are learning.  I also have a great deal of respect and admiration for teachers and their vocation.  For this reason I share with you the following article about overprotective parenting from a teacher’s perspective.  Would love to hear comments, especially from my “teacher parent” readers – you know who you are!

Why Parents Need to Let Their Children Fail

A Coach Approach to Nurturing Altruism

28 01 2013

From the ancient Egyptians, to Abraham Lincoln, the Dalai Lama, and modern day scholars, the power of altruism and altruistic behaviour for both the beneficiary and benefactor has been professed throughout history.  Even beyond historical wisdom, psychological theory and scientific data we can all relate to the feeling we derive from bringing joy to another. It’s real and its poignant!

So how do we strike the balance between selflessness and selfishness in our children and ourselves? It can be challenging to teach our children about asserting themselves and drawing limits to make decisions that are good for them while nurturing their ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.  The issue is compounded further when we consider how recent generations and we ourselves are so accustomed to instant gratification.  It’s hard to think of anything – object, service or piece of information that we can’t have with Wi-Fi and a few deft finger strokes on a screen or keyboard.

Simpsons’ fans may recall Bart’s sad albeit funny Thanksgiving prayer which sums up this rather dismal ingrate mindset:


Thankfully, there are schools and other collectives promoting values of gratitude and kindness to raise our children’s altruistic awareness.  My children’s school moto is “Soyons Toujours Respectueux!….des autres, de la propriété et de soi!” (Always be respectful…of others, school property and yourself)  in that order and they live this value everyday.   Introducing children to charitable causes and having open dialogues about local and global needs also helps.  Practicing altruism and appreciation in the family community reinforces how children can serve the greater good in their choices by considering impact on family members and themselves.  So although challenging it is possible to raise the level of social consciousness around altruism by simply recognizing examples of random and even not so random acts of kindness.

Want to use a coach approach to nurturing altruism? Ask your children the following questions and listen beyond the words for the answers:

  • How do you feel when you do something for someone?
  • How can you help make a positive difference?
  • How can you make the biggest difference for the most people?
  • What contribution can you make that would make you feel good?
  • What changes when you help others?  How are you different?
  • What can you do today to open your heart to someone in need?

Not everyone was born to be a social activist  – right Bart??  But even the Simpsons writers and producers would probably agree that a little kindness and gratitude can go a long way, and maybe even come full circle!

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