School is back in session and for others, it is soon to be!! Around this time there is numerous emotions being had for parents, teachers and children alike!

Feeling of significance. Feeling of dread. Feeling of relief. Feeling of excitement. Feeling of pride. Feeling of burdens lifted. Feeling of burdens added.

With every detail in getting ready for school, we can easily let escape us that today’s children are dealing with thoughts of mass shooting while getting ready for school. We can easily forget that 1 in 3 of anything haunting is an epidemic.

Please hear me. I’m not trying to be a fearmonger. I want to see us prepared for whatever our youth are experiencing. This is happening right now.

Most often, what youth are looking for is to know that they matter. Youth can get all A’s, do excellent at the recitals, play well in their sport or receive scholarships because of their academic prowess but if they don’t feel that they are significant to the people who they care the most about or are traveling through life with them, they can go through unnecessary bouts of anxiety and depression.

We are merely human, so we aren’t perfect. I hope we all know that we will miss some moments where we should have been showing our friends, kids or youth that they matter and are significant.

Hopefully we have great staff in the schools, great resources in our communities and great friends around our youth. That sounds idealistic but that is what it will take. But we know not everyone can say that those three things are evident in their lives. So here are two things that could help us with preparing our youth.

  1. Teach them that significance doesn’t come from outside of them
    That is easy to say, but really tough to get youth to comprehend fully. We have advertisements and popular culture that says different, so our youth will have to internally fight off those principles for exchange for the one that’s true. But while this process is happening here’s what you can do.
  2. Understand The Core FOUR Sequence©
    This sequence is the pattern of how our mind and behavior works. This is important because it can give youth a systematic framework for reflection that can help them understand, more fully, their experiences.Quick example:
    Principle: Attention directs all of our responses.
    If you don’t attend to something your body won’t respond to it. If a spider was on your shoulder and you were deathly afraid of spiders but you didn’t know it was there, you would be calm but if you knew…So here is an example of how this Sequence can be used. Each question represents a conversation.Reflection Process:
    1) What are you paying attention to the most in this situation? (we’re looking to pinpoint the major thing)
    2) What emotions are arising because of it? (label them) you can’t control what you don’t label. #Psych101
    3) What skills are you using right now to remain in this place? What skills can you use to get out? (guide this conversation)
    4) What thoughts are you having now? What thoughts would you rather be having now?

Those questions aren’t a magic formula that will pull anxiety out of a person but it does reveal the internal context of the situation and gives whomever is trying to help, a guideline for the conversation and if equipped, a moment where you can re-direct attention or remove the spider if at all possible.

That is a quick and simple exercise that this Core FOUR Sequence does afford you if you use it. The Sequence is 100% controllable by the person and can be strengthened through increased awareness and mental exercises.

For those who may be asking “Is this verified?” Let me ask you to verify it for me right now. Can you move without activating your Core FOUR?

© 2018, Ira Webbe Jr, all rights reserved


One response

  1. I can’t move without employing all four. I appreciate the understanding of this framework in my life. I have watched both of my sons begin to have awareness of themselves through repeating the core four (daily) and the guidance that my wife and I supply as day to day life happens. We just have conversations. The beauty of it to me is that it becomes very organic as the whole family begins to speak the same language and journey through our awareness together. Now I’m sure I don’t have to say how much i value communication in the family. It’s not perfect yet it exists and that is what excites me about growing as individuals and as a family. I guess i should mention that my sons are Christian (4 yrs old) and Aaron (2 yrs old). The Core 4 sequence is a blessing.

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