An article caught my attention that originated from a parent’s question. It included responses from the community.
Reading the responses I found myself surprised and then shocked as the replies to the questions did not connect with the original letter writer. Those responding talked at her and identified her actions as problems in a way that did not meet my need for consideration. What I read was generalizations and identification of the parents actions as being problems through the letter writers personal opinions including; judgement, diagnosing, prescribing and giving advise.
For me, what was missing was the piece that made sense on a behavioral level that would create a feeling of relief on all levels of my understanding not just my mind. Therefore rather than deepening into a shared connection to what I was reading, I was struggling with what it was bringing up for me.
I felt frustrated and annoyed reading these letters as all I took away from it was my thought that they were meeting their needs for expressing and sharing their professional opinions. I felt a deep sadness at the same time imagining the experience of the questioner reading these answers that sounded like a lecture and being told what to do. I recognize how I would like the support to be simpler, personal and emphatic. I would have enjoyed reading was how both the parent and child had different and conflicting needs. I didn’t read any steps and examples for sharing how to identify these two sets of needs and move forward with the child hearing back they where deeply cared for.
Imagine the personal power for the parent to connect in to was was important to them, not the action they themselves took. Let’s give parents tools to relax and guide their children not rules to break themselves! Followed by the gift of knowing what need the child was meeting so the parent could realize the child’s action was to meet that need.
Which came first the chicken or the egg? Really? Does it matter? Who cares about identifying who should be responsible for teaching children about bullying and the outcomes when each one of us is a bully! Yes, you have read this correctly. If we cannot identify our own needs and give ourselves empathy, what happens when talking to another person? Can you then hear and identify their needs and respond back to them in a way to connect to what is important to them? If not, in fact it is bullying them! Why, well think about it, if you hear someone and begin trying to fix it based upon your opinions, do you think they feel witnessed and valued or do they feel invisible and lonely? If you start to hear them, identify with their story and jump in to tell yours to let them know you know exactly how they feel, do you think they feel seen or heard or has the conversation become about you? Therefore, if it is about you and what you know and your experience, you cannot identify their needs and acknowledge them as having any value. Why?, they do not have the same needs as you in that moment. Frankly, it is not about you when you are listening to someone else which brings up the question of, “How do you think they are going to respond?”
I would like to generalize and say that I believe we all do this and it is these little incidents that we are not aware of that become big issues for others who then take it out on others that grows and grows. Therefore in my opinion it is a societal issue and one that needs societal solutions that begin with acknowledgement and training. Unlearning through learning new skills that begin with individuals in ALL communities, networks and families. It’s not a parental issue in my opinion as parents need the support of educators. Educators needs the support of administrators and administrators need the support of government and government need support of who? YOU!
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Acknowledgement, Administrators, bully, Bullying, Culture, Education, Empathy, Healthy Society, Learning, Organizations, Parenting, Parents, politics, Relationships, society, Teaching Children, Teaching the teachers, Unlearning, which came first the chicken or the egg
I would imagine that Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, author of Nonviolent Communication, would tell us that bullying is a, “tragic expression of unmet needs!” The questions then become:
- Do we even know that we have needs?
- Can we identify them?
- Can we share them so that they can be heard by others?
- Are we making the type of requests that will increase the chances of getting them met?
Society recognizes that the employers needs are different than those working for them. Society also recognizes that patterns (structures or models) are valuable for progress within an operation. Is society recognizing that the differences between employers, administrators and employees are equally as valuable? If so, is there recognition of these differences? Are employees hearing their needs identified and valued? This does not mean an employer or administrator needs to give up their needs! It simply is a basis for connection with the most valuable asset to your operation, your employees. Identifying their needs tells them that they are being seen and heard therefore valued. It does not mean an outcome.