Parents with Young People Out of School
You might be inclined to create a minute by minute schedule for your young people. You have high hopes of hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments, and reading. You’ll limit technology until everything is done! But here’s the thing...
Our young people are just as scared as we are right now. Our young people not only can hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before, not have we !
Although the idea of being off of school for weeks sounds awesome, they are probably picturing a fun time like holidays , not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends.
Over the coming weeks, you will see an increase in behaviour issues, insular as well as negative. Whether it’s anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can’t do things normally . This is fine and expected under these circumstances. We see this with young people with additional on a regular basis and so the next few months may actual open the minds of many to recognise the daily struggles of young people with SEND.
What our young people need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok. And that might mean that you tear up your perfect schedule and focus on your young person a different way. Play outside ( even if they are 14 years old ) and go on walks. Bake and paint pictures. ( I have bought rollers and paint as with older kids I thought they could decorate their rooms ) Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or plan you next adventure abroad ! Road trip !! . Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing.
Don’t worry too much about them regressing in school. Every single young person is in this boat and they all will be ok. When we are back in the classroom, we will all course correct and meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this! Don’t pick fights with your young person because they don’t want to do English. As a family relax into a new pattern of study/work and creative/ physical / re regulation time. Moving down the corridor to the next lesson is lost right now so natural re regulation is lost. Build it in and balance your day !
If I can leave you with one thing, it’s this: at the end of all of this, your families mental health and mindset growth will be more important and will only enhance their academic skills if it is protected !
And how they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those weeks is long gone. So keep that in mind, every single day.
Being parents first and teachers of education second.