Whistler’s Waldorf School will be hosting lectures and workshops next week on what is being called the social inclusion approach for parents, teachers and coaches to battle social isolation and bullying among children.
Kim John Payne has been a consultant for the last 27 years, helping educators, therapists, parents and children explore issues such as social difficulties with siblings and classmates, attention and behavioral issues at home and at school, and emotional issues such as defiance, aggression, self-esteem, and life balance.
He comes to Whistler for three days to participate in the lectures and workshops here on innovative approaches to bullying and social isolation.
“Among the social challenges that face us today, social isolation is a phenomenon that stands out in terms of the emotional distress and damage inflicted in childhood that can colour the rest of our lives. Exclusion carries the possibility of distress and deepening antisocial behaviour, but if resolved in an insightful way, it brings the opportunity to experience dynamic human encounters through which the essential individuality of the child grows,” he said.
Payne will be introducing the Social Inclusion Approach (SIA), which anticipates moments of social tension between children at school and helps develop a process to deal with them. It aims to enable educators to give children the tools to be respectful, kind, and empathetic, when faced with conflict.
“Bringing Kim John Payne to Whistler to speak on ‘Social Inclusion’ was an initiative of the Whistler Waldorf School Parent Council. Last year we brought him to Whistler to present the ‘Soul of Discipline,’ which sold out. The school is very supportive of Kim Payne’s work, which echoes similar values to those encouraged in Waldorf Schools,” said Whistler Waldorf School director of development Peggy Vogler. “Bulling was another topic that greatly interested our parents. Payne’s public lecture and workshops present a unique ”no blame” approach that transforms bullying and conflict into an opportunity for learning and growth for our children. As this issue appears in all areas of the community, it was our goal to engage everyone who works with children and youth, including teachers, coaches, parents and youth workers, in this community-wide discussion.”
Payne will start with a lecture on “Social Inclusion and the New Rites of Passage,” next Thursday (Oct. 18), at the Rainbow Theatre at 7:30 p.m. This one and a half hour lecture will address isolation, teasing and bullying and is designed to give anyone working, or living, with children the tools to help with these social exclusion issues.
On Friday morning (Oct. 19) from 9 a.m. until noon at the Myrtle Philip Community Centre, parents can really get involved with a three-hour workshop entitled “How Parents Can Raise a Socially Resilient Child.” This workshop aims to explore teasing, difficult playground situations, building friendships, and how to create a balanced environment resulting in a calmer and more resilient child.
Saturday’s (Oct. 20) community workshop is a follow on from Thursday’s lecture, but can be attended separately. In this hands on workshop attendees will learn how to successfully manage child social issues and conflicts. It will be held at the Myrtle Philip Community Centre from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Tickets are available online at whistlerwaldorf.com, or at Whistler Waldorf School reception. The lecture is $15 in advance, or $20 at the door, and the workshops are $40 in advance, or $50 at the door. For more information call 604 932 1885 or visit www.whistlerwaldorf.com.