The Magic of Achievement
This autumn I am speaking on The Magic of Achievement with parents in schools and at the Achieve weekend in Bristol on October 13th and 14th, and which is open to everyone: https://www.achieve.co.uk/. At Achieve, my focus will be on creating wellbeing and happiness for all children and young people, by lessening their physiological and neurological stress. In schools, I speak about understanding and nurturing children, so that they can easily and happily achieve their academic potential.
I find that achievement has lost its magic with many children and young people today – it’s become a stress. Sophia said to me last week, ‘When I have a lot of work, I’m in overload. When I have a lull, I feel anxious.’ Why are students and young people, even little kids, experiencing so much overload, anxiety and stress today?
Having worked with kids and young people for many years, I observe that this generation are more sensitive and aware. Most of their friends are stressed and overloaded – they absorb this stress like a sponge. There isn’t anyone around them to help them feel uplifted – even their teachers and lecturers are stressed! This wave of stress can lead to a load of difficulties: physical or emotional. It can completely block learning, brain maturation and coping with life, causing a range of problems from meltdowns to addictions. All these behaviours stem from neurological patterns. They are not character traits.
When I ran NatureKids, the kids arrived extremely stressed by school or life in general. It often took about 18 months to help them recover. We let them play outside for hours on end, gradually putting them on programmes to help their brains learn more easily and their bodies become well and strong. My books and talks explain how I did this with my 6 Steps: Understanding, Nurturing, Communicating, Loving, Resolving and Playing.
Sophia isn’t going to have hours on end to ‘play’. She’s studying medicine! But we chatted about Functional Medicine and Functional Neurology, which will help her brain to feel less overloaded, give her more energy. That reduces anxiety and stress, usually quite quickly, and puts young people in touch with their passions, their magic.
Leo first came to NatureKids aged 8, limited by dyslexia but a friendly and easy-going boy. When he was 14, he became school phobic: feeling sick and going ashen when he got in the school road, unable to go in the door. He just couldn’t fit the mould that school required. He lost out on the Magic of Achievement and that affects him to this day, despite being a very creative boy, with an enquiring mind.
By chance I was recently chatting to a friend, Tom. Years ago, he taught at Leo’s school. Tom reminded me that in the 1970s, he used to go on residential weekend sessions, run the county education department, to formulate a specific school programme for the teens who weren’t coping. Tom was one of the quirky teachers, who had a special gift with kids like Leo. I don’t believe in turning the clock back, but how can we provide for the individual needs of kids today?
Rocky came out of school about 18 months ago. Some of his lessons in school weren’t matching the ways his brain worked. School had robbed him of his confidence and self-worth – he was always a highly creative and intelligent boy. He needed months to recover and became one of the teenagers who inspired my previous blog: ‘Why some children can’t empty the dishwasher…..’ 1 Given space, he created a fantastic Ted X talk on Education,2 aged 14. It’s well worth watching! He’s now off to film school, where his talents will be recognised and supported. He’ll experience the Magic of Achievement in his film studies and that will gradually enable his brain to cope with the subjects that he didn’t like in school.
I’m currently writing my second book, with an emphasis on fully understanding the kids and young people of today.
I’ve explained about Sasha, aged 6, who is struggling in school. Her parents had been recommended to try and help her catch up over the holidays. But I can see that her hands and eyes aren’t ready for academic tasks, yet. I suggested that they focussed on physical activity and fun, to restore her self-worth and confidence, which she has lost. Sasha was scared to swim last summer but this year she’s swimming and diving like a fish, glowing with pleasure, achievement and self-worth!
Tino, aged 2, is academically advanced but locked in fears and autistic behaviours. His fears block him from enjoying his abilities. Tino is now on a neuro-developmental programme to lessen his fears and mature him through his autistic blocks. Without his fears, he will be able to access everyday activities, communicate more easily, enjoy achievement and life. Magic!
Megan, aged 13, was hospitalised for 18 months when she was self-harming and anorexic. Her future looked very bleak. When she came home, her first achievements were loving her new puppy, enjoying her skiing lessons and willingly doing her neuro-developmental programme. This and other natural health support, gradually reduced her anxiety. It helped her to manage everyday life and to eat appropriately. Her achievements were not only magical for those around her to watch but also give her lifeline, for life. To quote Megan about her neuro-developmental programme: ‘Working with Bob has enabled me to be the person I have always wanted to be and say the things I have always wanted to say.’ 3 That’s the Magic of Achievement in the very core of her being, her heart and soul.
When I see all these children and young people blossoming, thriving, being themselves, my mission is to bring the Magic of Achievement to as many others as possible, through my books and talks. I offer 6 Step consultations for the families in greatest need.
I hope to see some of you at the Achieve weekend in Bristol, October 13th and 14th. For those who can’t attend, do subscribe to my mailing list 4, to keep updated with other open talks and to receive information on my second book when it’s published in 2019. My first book, ‘The Handbook for 21st Century Mums and Dads’ is available from this website or Amazon and all major bookstores.
3 quoted from ‘Attention, Please’ a film by Andrea Thornton, available shortly.