Saturday, 14 February 2015

Ruby is Confident - A six year olds perspective

Ruby is six years old. She loves school and is having a great time. Her mum is a sole parent who exudes optimism and has a great sense of fun. Ruby's Nana and Pop often drop her off at school and they show a keen interest in what she does. Is Ruby happy because she was born that way or has she learnt to be happy or is there some kind of magical combination of many factors and influences that contribute to her positive demeanour?

It is hard to know and when we start to talk about which factors are most influential we enter the realms of conjecture and approximations. Some say genetics is the major player whilst others will say conditioning and learning is most influential. 

As a Rational Emotive Behaviour Educator I have a base theory which helps me to make an informed assessment as to why Ruby is Ruby. Ellis' ABC Theory of Emotional Disturbance explains or postulates that as constructivist learners we formulate our core habits of thinking as we experience the world and others around us. These habits of thinking drive our emotions and behaviours.

Let's assume that Ruby is genetically predetermined and charged to experience life with vim and vigour; to thrive and deal with disappointment and setbacks healthily never dwelling too long on problems before moving on. And then add the parenting style of a mother who takes risks, never self downs or judges others too harshly. A parent who always addresses behaviour and avoids personal put downs. A person who owns her own feelings never blaming Ruby for how she might feel. She will not only encourage her daughter to try new things she herself models the same attitudes and behaviours, risking failure but remains optimistic and hopeful. Of course Nan and Pop will value add to what Ruby is and will become.

I asked Ruby what she thought confidence was and she said 'I'm not scared to do things even if I they go wrong.' That's what I'm talking about!

Ruby and her sister Emerald

Para Hills School P-7 staff have been trained in the understanding and application of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy theory in daily teaching practice. The 'Rational Emotive Behaviour Education in Schools' program helps children like Ruby and her peers to be as happy and healthy as they can be. They are Rational Emotive Behaviour Educators.

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