I’ve been busy putting my ideas and experience into a number of articles during lockdown: pieces to help with home-learning, to combat boredom and more recently to help ease parents and teachers back into the school world, even though we don’t really know what that will look like.
It’s a nerve-wracking time for teachers, parents and children and we are all going to have to dig deep to quell feelings of anxiety induced overwhelm. We’ve all experienced a crisis-level event, with quite a few of us experiencing grief and loss, which means going back into a world that feels scary and unknown. It’s a particular concern to parents, as part of raising kids is for them to feel confident in themselves and their surroundings.
The benefits of using calming and meditative techniques to slow down the heart rate and the body’s stress response, are well documented. So I developed a simple mnemonic to help you apply a calm approach in a practical way in the coming weeks.
We will need to work together, this is no time for disunity or blame, we’re way beyond that and quite frankly looking for individuals or organisations to blame is counterproductive and exhausting. Let’s save our energy for the children, we need to model maturity, compassion and co-operation more than ever. Children need good cues to bounce off.
A gentle reminder of the need for the school to make adjustments, when it is safe to do so…. we know that Covid has created ‘unprecedented’ difficulties across a range of infrastructure and we are all affected in different ways, but autistic, ADHD young people, indeed ALL children with specific health or physical challenges, will need additional help to navigate the world around them that is rapidly changing.
We need strong leadership, from our political and school leaders, and as adults, we may also be leaders in our family, our community, our places of worship. There is always someone who is counting on you – take your strength and give it to others and you will find even more comes back to you!
We will need careful vigilance, monitoring what’s happening in school, with our child’s health and friendships, how well supported are the teachers and support staff, and how do we feel? Check in with those around you and yourself. It’s a cycle of support which works best for all of us, if we fulfil our individual roles with kindness and grace. We’ve got this!
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