“He’s A Waste of Other People’s Oxygen.” Poor parents and teachers!

We know that building self-esteem is important for children and that we must be very careful not to label a child as it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  So instead of getting irritated and venting our anger by saying loudly, “You are a thoughtless little bully”, you breathe calmly and say, “When you pushed your sister off the chairs that was a dangerous thing to do”. We must try to label the action not the child. I’ve heard parents so wound up … one Mum said despairingly, “He’s a waste of other people’s oxygen”, in front of her son.

How do we hold back our words when sometimes these things may have been said to us? To manage our adult emotions, especially anger, we need help. Yet nowadays there are so few networks or support groups to help parents.  Family Support Workers in some LAs are doing a great job setting up self-help groups for parents. But these are few and far between.  And parents are just grown up children with a lot of emotional baggage and no weekly circle time when they were at school!

I remember when I was teaching full time, inviting a parent in for a chat who had told his children, “If anyone hits you, hit back”. Inside I felt very judgemental, but I had had some good PD training on listening and counselling so I held back and drew the parent out. It turned out that he had been bullied when young and this was the only way he knew of helping his child in a difficult situation. Humbling. Complex.


Website Manager’s Notes

  1. Jenny Mosley is available for self-esteem boosting INSET training days, Working In School Days and for longer projects involving several schools for schools training like the Peterborough Model Above.
  2. If you are interested in booking just a day of training, Jenny runs open training conferences around the country throughout the year. Jenny also excels as an educational presenter at schools conferences, LA conferences and Headteacher conferences.
  3. The areas of Jenny’s expertise include training for positive behaviour for learningtraining for midday supervisors and lunchtime supervisors to promote calm dining halls and healthy, active playgrounds, also training for promoting social and communication skills for learning and training for mental health and wellbeing.
  4. Jenny’s resources support all her areas of training and are available form her webshop.
  5. To contact us please phone 01225 767157 or email circletime@jennymosley.co.uk or use the contact form on our website. We look forward to hearing form you.
  6. Do see Jenny’s Calm Dining Halls articles in Headteacher Update and the TES.