Great news!!!! I would like to introduce Sheryl Hawkins to you. Last year a new program was launched for Grade 4 – 6 or 7 students called, “T.H.I.N.K. Day.” It is a softer version of, “Life’s Challenges in Secondary School” – Part 1. This was developed based on feedback from school administrators indicating that the younger students need to hear some of the information from the Part 1 session. Sheryl is a retired administrator and brings a wealth of knowledge to Life Synergy for Youth. In January, Sheryl presented to 450 Grade 4 – 6 students for the morning and according to the Principal you could have heard a pin drop, they were so quiet and fully engaged. Please check out THINK Day and Sheryl on the website.
Divorce and family stresses
After the holiday season the bills pile up and, in some cases, the stress increases. As a police officer I remember attending many more domestic incidents both before and after the Christmas holidays. There tends to be an increase in alcohol consumption, overspending and then after the holidays the happiness wore off and real life began again.
In the small group sessions I talk about my divorce and for over 10 years I have been asking this question, “How many of you are from divorced families?” I have had one group where no hands went up which shocked me and the adults that were in the room, and one group where over 20 out of 25 hands went up. Usually the number is 3 – 6 per small group. I talk a little about my divorce and how I believe I got married too young, I was 23 and had already been a police officer for 4 years. I thought I had it all together but what I realized was I really didn’t know who I was as a man until I was 28 to 30 years of age. I talk further about figuring out who you are as a person before you offer yourself up to someone in marriage. I ask those from divorced families to raise their hands if they want their future children to go through what they went through. I have never had a hand go up.
Divorce can be quite devastating to children; there are the exceptions where the children know it is for the best. Seek counselling or whatever you need to do make it work. If this doesn’t work and a divorce is inevitable then do whatever you have to make sure the children are not put in the middle. Many children let me know that when they go to mom’s house she questions them about what their father is doing and when they go to their dad’s house he questions them about what their mother is doing. Some children tell me that they are being put in the middle by their parents that are still married. Mom tells the child about the frustrations they have with the child’s father and the father tells the child about his frustration with the mother.
If you are doing this and you continue to do this, your children will resent you; you can’t put your children in the middle. Please consider seeking help such as a counselor to work through issues and frustrations, don’t put your children in the middle.
Update – “Parenting with Eyes Wide Open”
I am hopeful that the book will be available around Spring Break. I have been overwhelmed and encouraged by the response from parents who are interested in having a copy of my book. I was recently contacted by a CTV News producer of the morning show that has requested an interview when the book is released.
The Digital World:
HONOLULU, Hawaii is now charging people that cross the street while texting. It is a small fine of $35.00 and goes up from there to nearly $100.00.
Recently I was in Hillmond, SK. where the Grade 8 students decided to give up their phones for an entire week, starting on Friday morning and going into the next week. The principal emailed me on Wednesday indicating that 81% of the students preferred not having the phones and 19% were having a hard time with it.
“It has been great. You actually get straight answers from people and it is helpful not having people take pictures of you. I’ve actually gotten closer to my friends”
“Without my phone I feel like more people have been interacting with each other more and more. It makes you realize that there is so much more to other people than you think.”
“Life without my phone has been so much better because you never have to think about checking it and everyone actually talks to you.”
“I’m doing great without my phone and this is a great experience.”
“I think that school is better without phones because people communicate more without them.”
“Life without my phone is really good because it seems like everyone is talking to each other more. It’s making a good impact in my life! (we should do it longer)”
“Life without my phone was actually great, I haven’t had to worry about what people say to me on it.”
“It has been great, people are interacting person to person. But it has not helped some problems.”
“I do not like it because when I am not doing anything I usually play on my phone but now I can’t because I do not have a phone.”
As I mentioned in the last Villager, Digital Detox anyone?
Testimonial of the month:
I recently had the pleasure of attending Dwayne Peace’s Life Synergy for Youth program at our school. The morning consisted of a 3 hour presentation-lecture by Dwayne for students grade 8-12 and the afternoon was a small group setting where I joined in with the grade 8/9’s.
As a teachers aid I found everything Dwayne discussed to be highly informative for the students and myself. It helped provide me with insight into what todays’ students are facing in our ever changing world as well as reaffirming age old dilemmas students have to face and how they can deal with life’s struggles.
The very first thing I noticed was Dwayne’s passion for what he is doing and how his life has led him to help the next generation deal with its hurdles and how to jump those hurdles through hard work, respect for oneself and others, and not being afraid to ask for help.
There was a lot of information brought to the students, but even after 3 hours of nonstop information they were all paying attention quite intently. Dwayne brings reality forward in a way that strikes a chord with everyone whether student or adult.
The afternoon group setting brought a lot of emotion from everyone involved. This brought the students closer to one another by understanding that everyone has issues in life. The teachers in our group also shared personal info and this helped the students realize we are human with our own struggles and it helped bridge the age gap between us. The group session helped the students realize the teachers
are giving on a daily basis for their education and life’s challenges ahead.
I recommend every student should have Dwayne’s program as a prerequisite in their schools curriculum on an ongoing basis, as life changes for every student daily and especially year to year. What Dwayne is doing is life altering, and even lifesaving and I have nothing but praise and respect for where his heart and life are
taking him to make other’s lives and the world a better place for all.
I sincerely wish this was available to me during my school years as it would have made a difference on so many facets of my own life. I suggest all parents, teachers and students should work together with Dwayne’s ideals.