2. Why are we here tonight?
To explore the concept of „Wellbeing‟
Using current research
Expand our understanding
To collaborate and share ideas within our community
Using personal insights & experience
Topics for the evening…
What is wellbeing?
What can we do when wellbeing deteriorates?
How can we promote wellbeing?
3. Defining Wellbeing
World Health Organisation
“wellbeing is where each individual realizes his or her own
potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work
productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to
her or his community” www.who.int
What does wellbeing mean to you?
Is it happiness, life satisfaction, a feeling of contentment,
sense of belonging and acceptance, peace, feeling at ease,
or is it pleasure & enjoyment, or all the above?
What aspects of life contribute to your wellbeing?
Family, friends, work, leisure, sport, activity, hobbies,
community, travel, experiences, achievement, lifestyle,
serving others, simple things, peace & quiet…
4. Defining Wellbeing For Your Child
Adult wellbeing & child wellbeing share similarities
Happiness, acceptance, peace of mind
BUT, they also have differences
Children face different challenges
Children have different priorities
How in tune are you with your child‟s wellbeing?
What does wellbeing mean for children?
What contributes towards a child‟s wellbeing?
5. Activity Time
At your tables, please take 2 or 3 minutes to
share your thoughts and ideas about
childhood wellbeing, what sorts of day to
day things contribute to a child‟s sense of
wellbeing (i.e. time with mum and dad)
6. When childhood wellbeing deteriorates…
How do children express distress?
How do we know when a child is not ok?
Rely on intuition, „Gut feeling‟?
What do we look for?
Are there signs I‟m not aware of?
7. Achenbach Child Behaviour Checklist
What is it?
Created by Professor Thomas Achenbach (Psychiatrist)
A widely-used standardized measure in child psychology for evaluating
maladaptive behavioural and emotional problems
How is it used?
The Achenbach is used by psychologists & psychiatrists
To assess if behaviour is within the normal range for age & gender
Investigate behaviour that falls outside the range
Who help can use it?
Relevant for parents, teachers, & caregivers in general
Helpful to be aware of a broad range of child distress behaviours
Can give you an idea of what to look for
8. Achenbach Checklist
1. Internalizing Behaviours
Somatic complaints (feeling dizzy, tired, aches or pains, headaches,
nausea, problems with eyes, rashes or other skin problems, stomach aches
or cramps, vomiting or other somatic problems)
Anxiety/depression (crying, fear, loneliness, nervousness, worthlessness,
suspiciousness, guilt, and fear)
Withdrawn (lonely, guilty, worthless, nervous, fearful, suspicious, unloved,
self-conscious or sad)
2. Externalizing Behaviours
Aggressive (bragging, arguing, screaming, showing off, attention-seeking,
teasing, being demanding, threatening behaviour and displaying a
Delinquent (cheating, lying, setting fires, swearing, truancy, stealing and
9. Achenbach Checklist
3. Social, Attention and Thought Problems
Social (acting young, clinginess, not getting along with peers,
clumsiness and preferring to play with younger children)
Thought (seeing or hearing things, repeating acts and strange
ideas and behaviour)
Attention (concentration difficulties, problems sitting still, impulsivity,
day dreaming, nervousness and poor performance in school)
4. Additional Problem Behaviours
Nightmares, sleep problems, eating problems, accidents and
talking about suicide
nail-biting, whining, speech problems, sexual problems,
picking at skin
10. Gathering More Information
Frequency… How often does the behaviour occur?
Describe the intensity on a scale of 1-10, or from mild-severe?
Duration… How long have the behaviours occurred?
Are there are triggers that precede the behaviour?
Is there a family history of problematic behaviours or mental health concerns?
Any significant events, life changes, or trauma in your child‟s history?
11. Seeking help - Options
Family, friends, parish
Parentline 13 22 89 (7am to Midnight)
Mental health services
12. Seeking help within our school community
Step 1 - Raise your concerns with your classroom teacher/HoIN
Discuss behaviour in developmental context
Step 2 - Classroom teacher/HoIN will refer you to me (Emma)
Step 3 - Discuss concerns in greater detail, make a plan
Step 4 - Make decisions in partnership about how to proceed
Short term counselling
Classroom based strategies
13. Amber Flag Behaviours & Thoughts
1. Verbal or physical violence towards peers,
siblings, parents, or teachers
2. Ongoing sleeping difficulties – trouble getting
to or staying asleep, nightmares
3. Thoughts or curiosity about suicide or harming
themselves or others
Talk to someone as soon as possible
16. Positive Psychology = Promoting Wellbeing
Positive Psychology founded in 1998 by Dr Martin Seligman
Traditionally in psychology, the focus has been on identifying
and treating mental health issues or problem behaviour
Positive psychology seeks to enhance overall wellbeing by
identifying & treating mental health issues, as well as using a
persons strengths to create meaning, find fulfilment, & thrive!
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18. Promoting Wellbeing – At School
1. Classroom environment
Individualised approach – every child matters
Key emphasis on Respect – self, peers, others
Physical space is uncluttered, colourful, welcoming
Strategy employed by both Junior & Senior year levels
Gives students a voice to be heard
Supervised & led by classroom teacher
2. Wellbeing & Support Staff
Head of Wellbeing & Head of Individual Needs
Learning Support Staff
19. Promoting Wellbeing – At School
3. Social & Emotional Programs
Classroom programs i.e. The „You Can Do It‟ initiative
Classroom workshops (programs vary with needs)
Wellbeing Workshops – years 3 & 4
Supervised Playgroups – years 1 & 2
Garden Club – years 5 & 6
4. Playground & Other Support
Teachers are trained in Restorative Practice
Yard duty book (Observation & Monitoring)
Parent Support Group Meetings
20. Promoting Wellbeing – At School
St Joseph‟s Mission Statement
When we encounter difficulties
When we have problems or issues to solve
When we need guidance and support
Reminds us of our school values
“St Joseph’s School aspires to live the values of Jesus
within a welcoming Catholic community that
celebrates and integrates faith, life, learning, &
culture; empowering our students to live together
harmoniously in an ever changing world”
Mission statements are not just useful for schools, companies,
21. Family Foundations
1. What is your Family Philosophy?
Articulate and acknowledge your family values
Put them on posters, remind your children, be vocal about them
Create a family Mission Statement that sets the tone for your family
2. Positive role modelling
Relevant for Teachers, Sports Coaches, Caregivers, & Parents
Modelling is one of the most powerful ways of learning
What you do and say will be internalised by your children
We ALL make mistakes – model ownership & acceptance of mistakes
Take responsibility for our thoughts and actions
22. Activity Time
At your tables, please take a moment to
share an experience with the person next
to you about a situation where your child
modelled your behaviour, can be positive
or an embarrassing example (the funnier
the better!), and how you managed the
23. Positive Boundary System
Aim: To socialise, prepare, & train children for the real world
1. Clear & Specific Behavioural Expectations & Consequences
Relevant for school & home
Don‟t assume they know, and don‟t assume they remember
Define & articulate your behavioural expectations
Reasonable & age appropriate
Put them on a poster, in the kitchen? Back of the toilet?
Revisit expectations often, call a “family meeting”
2. Positive Delivery or Day-to-day Management
Successful approaches are consistent, assertive, fair, respectful
Being mindful of language, tone, volume, body language
Avoids intimidation, fear, confusion, mixed messages
Acknowledges the inherent Power imbalance
This strategy can be useful in any situation where children are involved
24. Managing Challenging Behaviour
When boundaries are blurry
„Power Struggles‟ - Chaotic environment
A system or framework can simplify & clarify
Warwick Dyer – Child behaviour Expert
Before the Super Nanny
Featured on Ch. 4 in the UK Cutting Edge program
25. 360˚ Wellbeing
1. Healthy food & healthy sleep
Well balanced diet
Sleep difficulties and deprivation (debilitating)
2. Minimise ‘Screen Time’ or time ‘Plugged in’
Research re: Addiction to electronics, social media, games
Positive boundaries around when, how long, and what is essential
Some children will need to abstain from computer games
3. Teach your child how to relax
Mindfulness strategies – „Flow‟, „Focussed Thoughts‟, „Visual Imagery‟
26. Summing it up…
1. Establish a common understanding of wellbeing
2. The indicators of child distress, gathering more information
3. What help is available and what are my options?
4. Positive Psychology approach
5. Promoting wellbeing at school
6. Promoting wellbeing at home