Monday, December 10, 2012

Body Piercing and Tatoos

When my oldest grandson came home with his first body piercing I was mortified.  Then over the next few years the number of piercings increased.

Of course I need not have worried.  As he grew older the piercings gradually disappeared as he matured and removed the studs and rings.  Now he is almost piercing free.  He occasionally wears a small stud in his tongue but thankfully I am seeing it less often.

Now my middle grandson can't wait until he is able to get his first tattoo and I am dreading the day.  Now I realise the body piercings were preferable as they could be removed but a tattoo is forever.

When I was a child I remember going to the movies and seeing jungle films with native men with a bone in their nose or a plate inserted in their lip.  Then, of course there were the movies of the South Sea Islanders with their tribal tattoos and I can't help wondering if our children are returning to these tribal ways.

The news is often full of gangs of young people rioting or generally causing havoc and I wonder if all this comes from the society we have now created.

With both parents working and smaller families together with the nuclear family these children are banding together and defacing their bodies in an unconscious effort to return to the tribal ways of the past.  Is it a way of finding the companionship and support that comes with being a part of a large united tribe.

Perhaps the proverb "It takes a village to raise a child" is true and we as a society have really lost what was good and valuable in our lives.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


"Every goal that has ever been reached began with just one step....and the belief that it could be attained."   These words were written by Jason Blume.  It is a philosphy that we should all be trying to teach to our children.  It is important that every child is secure in the knowledge that they can achieve the things they want in life and fulfill their ambitions and their dream.

All too often I see children who can't even see their own self worth.  They believe that life has no promise for them and I want to convince tham that their dreams really can come true if  they are prepared to work hard with persistence and determination.

As Jason Blume says "When the end of the journey seems impossible to reach, all you need to do is take one more step.  Stay focused on your goal and remember that each small step will bring you a little closer."  

 He goes on to say that when things get tough and you feel like you will never make it then you should "look deep inside your heart and you will find strength you never knew you had."

I wish I had learned this lesson when I was young and passed it on to my children.   Now I hope to pass this on to my three wonderful grandsons.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


We are all aware of bullying in schools and the long term affect this can have on a person.  We are also aware of the difficulties that the school authorities have in stamping it out.  The child being bullied feels they cannot complain to a teacher because the situation will probably just get worse if the do.  
Some of these young victims take their own lives, others quit school as soon as their old enough and most of them have lost confidence in themselves and find it hard to get a job or to cope with the common hurdles that life throws at them.
The problem of bullying is not just happening in schools it is also happening in the workplace and for a young person in their first job this can be just as devastating as schoolyard bullying and in some instances even worse.
A young seventeen year old I know was offered a job when he was still at school.  There was the promise of an apprenticeship in twelve months time and there was also a contract which stated he would get a monthly bonus if he achieved a certain amount of work in the month.  Because he knew jobs were not easy to get and apprenticships even harder to find he decided to leave school and  take the job.  
The monthly bonus was never paid even though he achieved his goal every month and the apprenticeship was an empty promise that the company had no intention of keeping.  This young man was subjected to daily bullying by his supervisor, an older man who should have been mentoring  and training him in the job but instead was constantly criticising him.  The criticism was personal and degrading and had nothing to do with the work the boy was doing. 
The teenager is a very quiet boy who was always taught to respect his elders and he was  quite powerless to stand up for himself against the daily abuse that was meted out to him by this older man.  Eventually the boy was so demoralised and depressed he was unable to continue working and had to resign.  He was left feeling he was a complete failure and withdrew into himself.  He was the tenth employee in the year to leave because of the level of workplace bullying.
Although there are laws against workplace bullying there are still many toxic bosses out there who can emotionally destroy adults working under them so what hope has a teenager got in his first job?  
I hope that anyone who is working for a bully will be strong enough to cope with it and not be damaged by it because it seems no one is able to stop it happening.   I also hope this teenage boy will eventually regain his confidence and self esteem and be able to come to terms with what has happened,  put this experience behind him and find a workplace that does not allow this to happen to their staff.