I recently interviewed a super interesting spiritual life coach, called Pradeep Susarla (listen in here). He spoke about the boarding school he attended growing up in India, with the emphasis being all about trying to find out who you really are. It was a forward thinking school, passionate about mindset with no exams, sounds bliss!
I often encourage the kids to focus on how they want to stay, dropping the pressure on what they need to become. Of course, it’s great to learn, to develop those natural talents and to see the value that effort brings. I have loved seeing the kids develop their writing, reading and number work. But I think there is something pretty magic about enjoying the little things. Kids are naturally good at this, the key is to encourage them to stay this way. Gratitude will never go out of fashion. It helps us to feel lighter.
I recently received our kids report cards and I ALWAYS look at the wellbeing section first (this is probably of no surprise given this is a wellness blog).
It said the following about our son Charlie, who is currently 6:
Charlie can always be relied upon to come to school with a massive smile on his face which stays with him throughout the day. He is an extremely happy little boy who has an optimistic attitude to school life and seems to really enjoy the little things that we often take for granted.
Whilst there was chat about his confidence and self belief having grown enormously this year and his reading, writing and maths etc, it was the words about his smile and attitude that really stuck. Those things are too precious. I want him to keep that infectious smile forever. I want him to always enjoy the little things that are easy to take for granted. Don’t we all want that when we strip it all back?
The words that will stick with me from Bonnie’s report (she’s currently 8) are as follows:
Bonnie is extremely well mannered, thoughtful and an excellent team player. She is confident, kind and hardworking.
Keep those qualities forever my lass!
I think we need to put a lot more spotlight on the emotional and mental wellness of our kids and seriously consider how we can address the crippling issues of anxiety (do exams add to this?) and other mental health stats that we read about. I think we can learn a lot from Eastern culture and philosophy when it comes to our education system. Should finding out who we really are and what we really want not be the number one priority? In a fun, age appropriate and gentle way. From my experience, leaders who are self aware, happy and content make the greatest impact. We need to raise more of them.
You got this.
Jojo Fraser is an award-winning author, podcaster and keynote speaker, dubbed as ‘the Queen of positivity and a kindness advocate. She is a Tedx speaker and you can often hear her on BBC radio talking about our mental fitness, which she has been researching for the past 7 years. Jojo is known for normalising discussions around our mental health, making it accessible and relatable to all. She has quickly grown a reputation for having a huge impact even on the most sceptical of people.
Contact her at – firstname.lastname@example.org or across social @jojofrasermojo