Ok I just interviewed Maggie Dent. Wow she can talk! I literally wanted to write down every single word she said. So inspiring and so passionate. I can honestly say I may have a tiny lady crush. She literally was telling me all about the stuff I am so passionate about and she is doing it. Helping so many people along the way.
So this woman is extremely busy and said she could spare 10 minutes. I got my butt organised so that I could be super efficient in my questioning. Anyway, 35 minutes later and we are still chatting away.
I’m not going to put everything in here because I would be typing forever and you would quite honestly get sore eyes. But if you check out her website you will get so much amazing information from there www.maggiedent.com You really should get some of her stuff. Incredible!
Ok. I’m not sure where to start. Maybe a quick intro about this extraordinary woman and then I will go from there.
So Maggie Dent is a mother, teacher, counsellor and now has her own business writing and speaking about building resilience in children and young adolescents (and other stuff too). She started teaching high school a while ago and had a passion for counselling so moved into the counselling side of school. She noticed that there were a lot of depressed teens who came from what you would call a ‘normal’ family. She wanted to know what was going on. What she found has formed the basis of her business. She realised that a lot of teens’ issues stemmed from when they were 5 years old or younger. She then started looking into the foundation of a childs personality.
She started looking into building resilience in children. She realised that the minds of these children were stressed and this caused a range of issues. She tried one minute silence within the classroom and brain breaks to start to relax the minds of children. These were very effective and she noticed improvements in behaviour and educational outcomes. This is what formed the foundation of her books.
Something that I found remarkable was that Maggie said “Parents are worried about their childs teeth being straight, or their hair but they were missing the moral code of their children. How do I build an emotionally capable child?”.
This is happening everywhere. The focus is on what we look like and what our children look like or the sports they are doing but we are missing the very foundation of their personality. How do we build emotionally capable children?
Maggie explains that children need predictability and routine. The main elements of a healthy child really is about focusing on their diet, sleep and the connections they make with others. I have spoken about diet a lot and will focus more on how we can build these connections. Maggie really emphasised the importance of the ‘tribal’ culture. As a teacher it is important to provide a safe classroom and a unique family environment within it. Attachment does not have to be biological.
In order to build resilient children we need to focus on three key areas;
- Positive parental involvement
- Engaged and supportive educators
- Highly engaging curriculum
These are 3 major areas and I will go into these further in future articles. One area I will focus on for now is providing our children with positive parental involvement. As a teacher myself I quite often came across families where both parents were working. There were families who made this work and those that didn’t. The main difference was that the families that made it work were those that gave their child their undivided attention when they were with them. This meant that when they walked into the home after work they acknowledged their child, they read them a book before bed or them simply gave them a high-five as they walked past. Maggie goes on about giving them a wink to acknowledge them or putting kisses in their hands when you drop them off to school. Simple little things that make a big difference in their lives.
This was an incredible interview and Maggie has certainly given me a lot to think about as a teacher and as a parent. If you want to find out more about Maggie Dent check out her website here www.maggiedent.com and she has some incredible books you can purchase as well.