If I could give you one gift it would be to see yourself through my eyes and then you would see how special you really are.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Pro-active Parenting

The first day of school was an inset day for child 3 and 4. Well kind of as child 4 is at pre school, anyway whilst my two youngest enjoyed their last day of freedom I was in school with both my governor and adoptive parent hats on taking part in the attachment training I have been going on about for the last two years. Two county education psychologists had joined the teaching staff (including the TA's, NOT the lunchtime assistants unfortunately, but hey one mountain at a time) to talk about how the brain forms, attachment theory, and how difficult it is for children who have not made strong attachments to achieve in schools. I am sure that many parents like myself who have hoovered up as much knowledge as possible about why attachment issues occur and what we can do to help would find the training provided by council to be pretty basic but watching how the staff reacted was fascinating if not worrying.

The psychologists only had 3 hours and in that time they shared the basics about the brain using the famous comparative photo of the Romanian child brain and the healthy 3 year old brain,

 they explained attachment and the basics of attachment theory, introducing us to Heather Geddes, Mary Ainsworth, John Bowlby, Margot Sunderland and Daniel Hughes. But, It was the activities that filled me with hope and gratitude, I became aware that everyone around the room was beginning to "get it" 
We were put into small groups and were given cards explaining the hardships a child named Billie suffered, each was different, domestic abuse, neglect and so on. Each group then discussed how Billie would grow up thinking about herself, thinking about how her parents viewed her and the strategies she would use to cope and survive. Another exercise was a list of why is ........ Constantly turning around in class, always exploding during maths or spellings, in trouble in the playground or frequently telling lies and we had to match them with maybe because early loss especially of caregivers leaves children with difficulties distinguishing between fact and fantasy, danger comes from behind or he finds it hard to make mistakes or be wrong.  Every group were enthusiastic in involving themselves in each task, sharing ideas and really thinking about the children in their classes and perhaps how they could ease their days in school just by placing them at the back of the class or supporting them more in the playground. And when I said I had three hours of my hero Dan Hughes on DVD talking attachment that I was willing to LEND out if anyone wanted to watch, I was over the moon when two people asked to borrow it. 

I left not necessarily impressed with the training but with how the staff were so open to considering attachment issues and what they could do to help. It was worth every conversation, every meeting and every knock back.

Maybe child 4 is going to be ok when he gets into school. 😄

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