Monday, October 12, 2009


I hope you enjoy reading Saranda's story. I changed her name to protect her privacy although she does not live in Australia any more. I have tried to stay 'close to the truth' with her story as much as possible, relying on my observation notes from our conversations and notes from her diary I had a privilege to read / I mean the parts written in English as she liked to switch to Arabic often/.

From the time I met Saranda I have taught many other students from different backgrounds, of different age and different abilities. However they all have their own troubles and grievances to deal with, they all have been in different times in their lives in difficult situations and needed to learn how to deal with stress. I realized that children who have found their own way how to deal with stress and learnt eventually to overcome difficulties grew up to be strong and confident individuals, who have a great chance to suceed in life. I felt that my role is to listen to them, to acknowledge them as individuals in their own right, to give them support or advice if they need it, but I realized I have to be patient enough to let them grow and experience world in their own pace, to find their best way to deal with stress. SUPRISINGLY MANY CHILDREN FROM WAR RAVAGED OR POOR COUNTRIES COMING TO LIVE IN AUSTRALIA HAD ALREADY BETTER COPING SKILLS AND RESILIENCE TO DEAL WITH STRESS THAT OUR CHILDREN GROWING UP IN AUSTRALIA.

Saranda's story is horrific. How many of our children growing up in Australia will experience war in their lives? And yet we have more and more children diagnosed with adult like conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety and even in younger and younger age. I am lucky that I work in school which is one of the pilot school for KidsMatter /the early intervention to help children build relisience and coping skills to prevent serious mental health problems such as depression emerging during their teen years and adulthood/. However I wonder, what is happening to our children, Professor Sims said research showed at lest one in ten children in Australia has a diagnosable mental health problem, why?

Is our society and our parents too much responsive to our children's needs, too compassionate about our children's emotions that we stopped trusting them to learn to deal with everyday moderate stress independently?

Is our children's unhealthy stress caused by the demands of modern fast life and consumerism we all are slaves of?

Are our children suffering with obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias and worries products of modern overprotective parents?

Are they products of modern busy parents who had no time for their kids any more and prefer to pass their responsibility to 'more qualified' psychological sevices?
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Anonymous said...

You make some very interesting observations. I'm an ex-pat Kiwi living (at the moment in Brazil) in South America for the past 17 years. Kids here are far more able to cope with stress and life than any kid anywhere in the 1st World. I have long held the thought that we (1st world parents) go too far to protect our kids, molly coddle them, try to keep them kids too long, we don't let them grow up and when they finally get into the world, they're not prepared for it, they go haywire.

Kids here are allowed to be kids, they get hurt, they experience violence (similar to your war children) from the militias and drug dealers, but they survive. I have seen so many examples where older sisters look after younger siblings or where mothers who work still take the responsibility of their children at work, in the streets or labouring in the fields.

Our 1st world society is stuffed beyond repair, and it is getting worse.

Read this story on my blog:
about a six year-old American boy suspended from school, think about how screwed up that kid is now. That's just one example.

Your thinking is on the right track, in my opinion.


Bittersweet Beata on October 15, 2009 at 1:12 AM said...

Thank you so much Ar, it is great to know that there is someone there who is reading my stories
and thoughts. It is alwasys like this when you are ready to give up suddenly a helpful hand appears from somewhere to pick you up and continue again...

Thank you for being my 'helpful hand'. Looking forward to read your blog.

Lily Robinson on October 15, 2009 at 12:44 PM said...

I agree with you. If you expect a child to spill something, and continually tell him he will spill something, he will probably spill something! We keep teaching our children that if any bump in the road comes along, they need immediate access to counselors and medication. Kids are much more resilient than we give them credit for.

I know of parents that keep the death of a family pet secret! They make up wild stories rather than let their children know about death. When I was young, we had cats that got killed or died. It didn't scar me for life!

Thanks for visiting my writer's blog. I have two others if you care to check them out... a farm blog and one for miscellaneous posts.

I look forward to reading more of your ideas.

troutbirder on October 15, 2009 at 3:56 PM said...

Wishing you well in all things. I came here thru Rae blog and enjoyed reading your thoughts. :)

Bittersweet Beata on October 17, 2009 at 1:47 AM said...

Thank you Lily for sharing with me your ideas.
I am happy you will not give up on me and are willing to read more.

I will do the same. Checking your other blogs and looking forward to read them.


Bittersweet Beata on October 17, 2009 at 1:50 AM said...

Dear TT /troudbirder/ thank you for your kind wishes. I am so relieved that I have finally found some people interested in my blog. I was ready to give up.

Looking forward to check your great thoughts on your blog as well.




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