February 2019


"Be like a child: simple, spontaneous and happy. Don't be a barrel full of problems. You are capable of laughing. Open up like a flower to the sun." Snježana Petraš used these opening lines for workshops on the importance of emotions in a child's development. Two seminars held on February 27 and 28, 2019, in Vitez were attended by 40 teachers and pedagogues from 11 schools in Central Bosnia Canton. The workshop participants highlighted the importance of gaining children's trust in order to help them express emotions and use those in their development. Only then is it possible to ask children the key question about the cause of a certain emotion. When it comes to sadness, one of the wisdoms they keep repeating to children (as well as themselves) is: "People cry not because they are weak but because they are too strong." They are also aware that they control their happiness and that they can help children be happy as well by working on their emotional intelligence.
Through exercises, the participants had the opportunity to learn about emotional intelligence in stressful situations, and they shared their experiences in resolving emotional and stressful problems.

The workshop was led by Snježana Petraš, a professor of pedagogy and psychology, who discussed the need of teachers and pedagogues to address the issues of emotional change, emotional control and the ability to understand emotions. What they will find useful in their pursuit is "Journal of emotions", created by Snježana Petraš and the TPO Foundation as part of the three-year project "Peer and gender-based violence".
In the second part of the seminar, Professor Zilka Spahić Šiljak spoke to teachers and pedagogues about health effects of stress. She spoke about mindfulness as one of the most powerful methods in focusing one's attention to the here and now – which was quite challenging for the participants. The meditations they did in this part of the seminar taught them to breathe properly, control their thoughts, be present in the here and now, and understand the importance of being alone with oneself. They also practiced exercises and heart-awakening techniques that can help increase one's efficiency and productivity at work and in one's personal life.