söndag 17 juni 2007

Love is the best medicine/Kärlek är bästa medicinen…

Got the paper "Insight" for the staff in this township/municipality (kommun) yesterday afternoon - a Saturday! There was an article in it about the school chief physician (skolöverläkare) and a school nurse, both just retired (pensionerade). They were interviewed in the paper and I thought it was so interesting what stood in this article so I want to write a blog post about it…

”Love is absolutely the best medicine!”
the school doctor says and the school nurse nod approval (nickar instämmande).

Both are now being retired from work after more than 50 years experiences in health care, most of the time in school health care.

“We have had a fantastic job. To work with children is wonderful! It is refreshing (uppfriskande), engaging and interesting. And we have all the time felt we have played an important role for children, parents and for the school!”
they declare.

The school health care is an old institution here.

"Most of us know that it is about being weighed, met (the length), vaccinated and getting your sight and hearing checked. Possibly (möjligen) not though for the ones in school in the end of the just passed decade"
they also say.

The aim and direction (inriktningen) of the work in school health care (skolhälsovård) has changed during the years. From earlier, when it was about controls, to measures in promotion of health (hälsobefrämjande åtgärder), talks for supporting (stödsamtal) and other efforts (insatser) for those who have problems and troubles of all different kinds today.

“Seen over the years I establish (konstaterar jag) that the children in our society have become more frank/candid (frimodigare), more independent (självständiga) and more talkative (talföra). That’s positive. But at the same time one can’t shut one’s eye for the fact that the group which have problems has become larger (större). It was said that the past decade (förra århundradet) should be ‘the child’s decade’ (Ellen Key here! ‘barnens århundrade'), the corporal punishment (agan) disappeared and a lot else happened. The question is if this new decade also has contributed to a better situation for children? Unfortunately I am uncertain (tveksam) about that, and this is much about present time’s (nutidens) life style”
the nurse says.

They both think that the future will bring about larger differences (föra med sig större skillnader) in children’s and young person’s health. The children who have it good will get it better and the ones that has it difficult will get it even more difficult.

“If you look out on a school yard all children seem to have it well. But as a matter of fact (i själva verket) each fifth child (vart femte barn) has needs for support in one or another form to function well in her/his school weekday (skolvardag). That’s a task for the school health care, to catch up problems, find possibilities, help and prepare the children for handling their health”
they both say.

And once again, this about professional secrecy (tystnadsplikt)... School health care has this, and I think that's good... It's in first hand the health cares tasks these things I think... They should be specialists on this, and have contacts with social service, psychiatric clinics etc. (but I too have my thoughts about if these institutions really can help children with problems, but that's another discussion. And I have a sister who has worked both in school health care, in social service and in child and adult psychiatry, so I have seen it from that point of view a little too). I have seen so much, from teachers sides, that I think this is extremely important...

Prejudices about why children have problems, where it comes from, what it is about... Contemptuous statements from teachers, fairly insensitive and unemphatic... Maybe teachers have to let things out, lift the lid among each others, but I have reacted nevertheless.

And many aren't capable of dealing with real treatments (psychological, therapeutic or any other similar treatment), but are specialized on other things (i.e., on teaching)... I have seen examples of teachers who have stepped over children's borders in a belief of their own excellency (yes, this was angry and yes, ironical too)... But maybe this sort of teachers are rare!? I think they shall leave it to people whose job this is.

But teachers can really be there for their pupils/students! That's one thing... Empathically as a fellow beings (medmänniskor), seeing the child... But see, realize their own limitations (maybe not easy), and the best teachers and helpers are the ones that sees and realizes this, that they are no gods, but human beings with human limitations??? They do the best job, and are of most help to children with problems, and to grown up people too around them?? Those who don't force themselves on the child, but just are there, though not being so blind, seeing, noticing, sensing and supporting sensitively, on the child's terms and wishes and wants...

Maybe in a similar manner as Bosch paints what concern physical integrity?? Because the children which are in need of help need time to open up? Time on their own terms? To develop trust and confidence? Respect from the adult what concern the child's integrity, whether it is the physical or emotional (and of course sexual!!) integrity... Not easy, but this is how it should be? At least what we have to try with? Not coming there tramping in in a child's life meddlesome thinking we know what it is about and, even worse, what the medicine is too! Of some reason I am reacting very strongly against this! Why? With this not said I am handling this better, or even excellently!

I have a lot of thoughts about those who force their help on others, meddlesome (beskäftigt) without being asked, whether it is about children or grown ups...

The physician and nurse above mean that this particular municipality doesn’t have to be ashamed for their school health care; here it is at the same level as it has been. It isn't so everywhere in the country. But, of course, more resources should be needed, for an even better work and results…

Yes, it isn’t sure we see the children who are having difficulties when we look on children at a school yard! And we maybe don’t expect to find problems in certain families either… Some are probably capable of hiding it entirely, very intelligently too, fooling the surrounding, and themselves too!? And many of us grown ups are probably also so insensitive so we don’t perceive what we see just in front of us!!?? Just some small thoughts a Sunday morning…

I would like to write more about Jonathan J. Pincus research… because I think it touches this, is on a similar theme, but maybe about the worse abused children and the results of this abuse… He thinks preventive measures (förbyggande åtgärder) is possible, but we have to know what it is actually about… That this isn’t about genetically things really… No genes only wouldn’t create the worse monster he thinks??? Or that’s my interpretation of him.

Child abuse can lead to bigotry (trångsynthet) only, somatic illness etc. And if “nothing else” problems in your life in a lot of ways, that wouldn’t be necessary…

And again, I think if we started to talk more openly about these things it would be the only needed help form many, but not all, no. But makes it easier for those which are most harmed to recover… Recover to that degree that their lives become much more endurable…

And I have some additional reflections, side tracks maybe, about how we worked during the eighties and the first half of the coming decade when we had music in classes (as we have had as preparation for the music school here since over twenty years)… Of making children cooperate, not be afraid of standing in the light, that everything they did was good enough, to create joy and lust in making music, singing, doing things together… But can this be manipulative? Must it be?

I worked with this for ten years, in parallel with having pupils in piano on all levels, accompanying students, accompanying dance of different sorts, working extra as church musician, having music theory, a school orchestra for some years...

I also compare to how it was when me and my five siblings were in school... The thought of going to any school nurse or physician and talk about things didn't exist. I can't remember I was aware of that there existed any psychologists or what we call kuratorer (educated from school of social science). I don't the latter existed, but I may be wrong.

Didn't children then need these opportunities?? What was covered up? How were things solved? What was allowed to bring about? What was even more hidden and silenced then? In the holy family?? You should deal with it on your own, not talk about it, clench your teeth and go on?? And the society was then even more authoritarian; people looked up to those with positions in the society, with educations etc.? As if they were complete?? They had nothing to hide?

The teachers also felt a lot of respect for parents with a position and education, very much for academic homes... And this made them totally blind, in admiration and respect etc.??? They just saw a model-family??? With a lot of cute and clever children??? Socially respectable.

Something of this I think I can see in people of my parents age??? As if high bosses can't have any faults whatsoever!! As if they are standing above all other human beings!! I am after all not thinking in those patterns myself, I think, so I can't just believe there are people thinking like this??? It's totally over my horizon!! And this even from people who in other ways are very social etc. And who has worked with young people for their last 20 years of work life and who has own children...

Maybe it's me that is extremely naive, and have lived very protected (in a way)?

And the ones reacting like this, grew up in working class or lower middle class (but fairly wealthy
in the latter case, at least then just before and during WW2??) seem to have a totally blind respect for people with some sort of a position... Yes, as if they are complete human beings. They can never do anything wrong or bad or harmful. I wonder if they grew up in an even more authoritarian milieu?? With a totally blind respect??? Raised with blinders (or actually blinkers?? I.e. skygglappar in Swedish) really. And apropos blinders or blinkers see the blog post about "Removing Blinders, Becoming Connected..." !! Freyd's view on this topic!

Where it definitely was about obeying and not question anything?*) Under a really totalitarian regime, yes? Even more than the one I grew up in?? And maybe the small child also saw things about those which was put up high... How they actually were? In a way, and in another way probably not. I don't know... And was this also about clear-eyedness in the child?? hat she in fact had the capacity to see (and this can be scary too?)? And one of these children was tested with a high IQ... But I don't know how high...

The last fact also mirrors how psychology functioned then back 1964???

*) This is what Pincus writes about, and the extremes of this upbringing, but even the less abusive upbringing can lead to bigotry (trångsynthet)... See the blog post about Pincus and Miller on Frank McCourt...

The teacher k, in action above!! :-) Translating some words and expressions for those who have read even less English than I have!! Yes, I read English for eight years long ago, but haven't used it for more than 30 years until two years ago, when I joined ourchildhood.int.

But this is for myself too! So I myself don't have to look words and expressions up if I return to this text later, and another reason is also that I don't have to write the entire text, or everything I write on this blog, in both Swedish and English always! Saving time and space! Because, no, I am often not so brief, if one say so!! Hmmm... :-) It seems as if I have a lot on my mind!? That I have kept inside and that want out??

So by time the blog posts probably will come with more space between and maybe more in short snap shot form will come?? Also because of lack of time to write (but it seems as this so far hasn't been a hinder; that I have had a lot to do at work I mean! Maybe it looks like I have unlimited energy, which I probably don't have, most surely don't have)... Eager, energetic so you could be tired for less, interested, engaged, passionate... And fleeing with all this work??

And in general I have always been an eager letter and post card writer how much I have even worked (and I guess I haven't worked little during 30 years in work life). And I am also the one giving all siblings, family members of all kinds, niece and nephews and cousins children gifts and presents... Because it is so fun... Because I find something I like so much myself and want to share... Not least on the book front! But more seldom music, or almost never...

And in some ways I can identify myself with Astrid Lindgren a little?? I have that child's curiosity still? And have a girlish approach I think? Colored by many years of working with young people, or out of interest in working with young people, and interest in a lot around me... A genuine interest I think and hope.

And both my mom and my one year younger brother have obviously been struck by my memories of early childhood; the detailed memories, and pictures... Colors, smells, some feelings... And, yes, so it is... Has this come by the years? I don't remember! :-)

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