Keynote 2: Caring for Ourselves - so we can care for others

Kathryn Berkett

MidBays Kāhui Ako 2018

Focusing on Wellness, self-care, and looking after yourself, Kathryn's keynote was both entertaining and informative. Key messages were clearly illustrated, and such comedic examples. Kathryn, a highly qualified and experienced educational psychologist, has trained in the area of brain trauma. She is deeply passionate and engaged the audience immediately. The teenage 'adolescent' brain is in its most changeable state during and after puberty. Whilst it is difficult to make changes, it is actually the most influential time since  0-3 years old. 

Let's meet our brain:

Kathryn explained our brains:
Reactive - the red zone and Rational - green - is our executive functioning.  
Beware our Sandpaper Brain - what are the things that are 'sandpapering' your brain? When they are little things, it is manageable, but when these start becoming ouchie - that hurts. WE head into the red zone, rather than the green - we need to learn how to RESET - check-in and RESET

Creativity needs the upper brain  - these are the mouse-cheesers - rewarders!
How many times are you taking the mouse to the cheese? (rewards) or to the owl? (threats)


- Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs- Status- Relationships

Are we Increasing or Decreasing people? Elevating or deflating their status?

What do your actions speak? 

Reset the sandpapered brain. We need to understand the triggers that send people into their stress brain 

Put your own self-care first 

Introducing the brain: 

Cortex (managing)  Limbic (emotional)  Brainstem (survival)

Research (Gluckman) shows that the development of the frontal cortex is slowing down,it is taking longer to develop the part of the brain that controls the frontal cortex - the part that is linked to time management, empathy, emotional adversity, etc.Therefore, we need to expose our students to experience tolerable levels of:
taking risks, emotional adversity, sadness, failure, anxiety

Let our boys DO
the role of the managing brain - the marshmallow challenge or the cookie challenge - you know the one...have ONE cookie now, or WAIT and have three later!!!
Override impulsion - 2 yrs old - they will EAT it!
The 6 year old starts to rationalise, and manages their decision, IF the frontal brain stress response is green. If no choice, you will do irrational things.
Activating stress response - it happens to all of us - think about when you have lost - misplaced your KEYS!
Brain signal - stressors- makes you think there is an increased chance you will die (the survival part of your brain). Activates fight and flight response. When you no longer have the energy, irrational brain kicks in!

If you want someone to engage with you - you need to connect and let them know that they 'are not going to die'. If you are sequencing, giving timeframes, yet they are thinking that they are going to die, this will NOT get your message across! Their Stress response
  • not sequencing 
  • time management
  • blah blah - you are going to die!
ADHD - survival response - Fight and Flight Response  
Sight and hearing sharpen, heart beats fast, dry mouth, breathing changes, stomach purges, temperature change, - long-term stress response - temper tantrum

What we can do:

See me...
 Show me I Belong
Tell me what is Happening
Give me some Control

Activating the power of sympathetic - automatic reset

What is yours? 

Thanks, Kathryn - a highly recommended motivational speaker.
 Informative, knowledgeable, entertaining, and so practical.
Check out her resources here