RU Ok Day
De La Salle is once again running “RU OK?” Day on 14 September. In the lead up to this nationwide day, we are encouraging all members of the De La Salle Community to check in with a friend, family member or colleague.
We want this to be more than just a token question, asked without really wanting to hear the response. We know that feeling connected to others that genuinely care about us, our emotions and the events of our life, is incredibly important. It safeguards us against loneliness, isolation, depression, suicide and anxiety, and increases our happiness, contentment and sense of belonging. Human beings weren’t made to live in isolation. We are wired for connection!
Being a parent myself, I’m aware of how incredibly easy it is to focus on the external tasks of life rather than the internal world of emotions and feelings of our children. This is one of the reasons they turn to peers. We, adults, become administrators rather than mentors.
So, your homework is this:
Have a conversation with your lad, but before you do, think about the following
- Have I chosen somewhere relatively private and comfy?
- Have I figured out a time that will be good for them to chat?
- Have I made sure I have enough time to chat properly?
- Take what they say seriously and don’t interrupt or rush the conversation.
- Listen to understand DON’T listen to respond
- If they need time to think, sit patiently with the silence.
- Encourage them to explain: “How are you feeling about that?” or “How long have you felt that way?”
- Show that you’ve listened by repeating back what you’ve heard (in your own words) and ask if you have understood them properly.
- Ask: “How would you like me to support you?”
- Pop a reminder in your diary to call them in a couple of weeks. If they’re really struggling, follow up with them sooner.
- You could say: “I’ve been thinking of you and wanted to know how you’ve been going since we last chatted.”
- Ask if they’ve found a better way to manage the situation. If they haven’t done anything, don’t judge them. They might just need someone to listen to them for the moment.
- Stay in touch and be there for them. Genuine care and concern can make a real difference.
I know it’s a lot of homework, but if done properly you should be able to get it done in about 30 minutes.
Feel free to report back with any questions you may have. You will not be graded!
Mr Anthony Freeman
College Psychologist — Kinnoull Campus