While are living in such conflicted and unusual times, retired school teacher, Abby Foster, decided to write about what she had learned during her decades as an educator in high school settings, corporate settings, and even her two summers teaching school administrators in Lithuania. She felt that perhaps her writing could help parents raise happy, confident kids while being aware one of the major challenge of nonacceptance of others, including racism, an extreme form of bullying. A child who does not feel acceptance from his or her peers will find it difficult to feel confident or happy.
Abby believes that everyone in the world has one thing in common, and that one thing is the desire to be happy and/or experience serenity.
The world is suffering, and yet the goodness of many people is evidenced daily in the news and on television. Today’s heroes are the front-line people: doctors, nurses, custodians, cashiers, cleaners, and those who previously did not get the recognition they have now earned.
Abby feels that everyone at this time in modern history needs to be reminded of the ethical standards with which they were raised. She is also aware that each individual has to establish his or her own code of ethics and live by that code. Otherwise, internal conflicts arise and serenity disappears, i.e., if honesty and integrity are part of a person’s code of ethics, lying and cheating would disrupt their feeling of happiness or serenity.
Abby is convinced that no one can dictate what ethics an individual should embrace. That is usually determined by individual family values, religious and ethic backgrounds, and experiences in life. Even if the specific ethics are not verbally spoken or discussed, they are usually the backbone of how parents raise their children and live their own lives. Abby believes that violating one’s own code of ethics is what causes friction among people and among nations.
Raising a child is never easy and cannot be done perfectly. Children enter this world with their own personalities, their own uniqueness. Obviously, no one can or should attempt to tell parents how to raise their children; that is not Abby’s intention. Her intention is two-fold. One is to point out the basics of human nature that we all know deep down inside but may not be aware that we know.
Her second purpose is to again tell you what you already know but may not be aware you know regarding communication skills, listening, attitude and people skills. She hopes readers will consider this a refresher course, bringing to their awareness what they already know. Having this awareness in the forefront of their minds makes it easier to share these skills with their children.
From her many years as an educator, Abby developed a Framework that is easy to remember and fits all situations dealing with other people, especially children. She encourages readers to think of a large oval frame that encompasses the most desirable basics of all human nature. Written around one side of the frame is “Unconditional Love.” Around the other side of the frame is written, “Boundaries.” Within the frame there are two acronyms for the easy-to-remember basics of her child-rearing recommendations: S-A-V-E: S (Safety, mental), A (Acceptance), V (Validation), E (Enthusiasm). Beneath that is C-L-A-P: C (Communication skills: physical and verbal), L (Listening Skills), A (Attitude Training), P (People Skills).
To prove that you already know this but may be unaware that you do, Abby suggests you look at anyone and then describe this person, even without speaking to them. Look at someone checking out in the grocery line. What do you see? You have an immediate impression just by the looking at someone’s facial expression, posture, and tone of voice.
You may not be correct in your assessment, but you won’t be too far off track. Your immediate reaction to the person you viewed is covered in Abby’s Framework. Awareness is necessary in order to share what you are aware of.
The importance of bringing this information to the forefront of your mind is because you are raising a child to have internal and external confidence, a happy child who believes in him or herself.
The more she observed students of all ages, whether in schools or in corporate or international settings, the more convinced she became that she could create a recipe or framework that would result in a successful school experience for those who followed it.
Children live up to what they believe they can do. Even adults, she believes, are limited or motivated by their own self-beliefs.
Another powerful, horribly negative impact on a chid’s self-esteem is bullying. Bullying negatively impacts all participants and has reached epidemic proportions, as have the number of teen suicides.
Abby’s intention is to change how people view bullying by tapping into the basics of human nature and approaching those basics in a variety of perspectives in order to reinforce the importance of this message. Abby’s goal is to provide a recipe or framework that enables every child to feel safe, worthy, and of value.
Her ultimate desire is to inspire parents and teachers to learn and internalize the perfect recipe or Framework for raising a bully-proofed child, one who believes in himself, will work up to his or her abilities, and can accept others for who they are. She believes that the greatest impediment to a child’s confidence is bullying, i.e. non-acceptance, including physical and mental threats.
Racism is bullying; showing one’s non-acceptance of another’s religious or ethnic background is bullying; any personal characteristic pointed out demeaningly as different, such as color of hair, size, shape, is bullying.
No one is expected to like every person they meet, but everyone is expected to show respect. That’s the minimal response for those who believe in “treating others as they would like to be treated.”