High School hates

Mine is a somber reflection on school life tonight – I came across this quote recently and it really resonated with my experiences with my two eldest at High School. ‘I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go to school for that’. Dick Gregory  Schools seems to be a place for learning […]

Toxic shame

Shame has always fascinated me – I don’t know why but over my life I’ve heard quite a few teachings on shame from lots of different angles but until I had adopted children I don’t think I really understood the tremendous power it has to keep people locked down and just how the effects of […]

What should a 4 year old know?

There was an article in the paper this week that was passed around Facebook and it got me thinking about when our children start school and what they actually do in those first few years. I know with most adopted children, and other vulnerable children I’m sure, those first few years at school can be […]

A shout out to the Teaching Assistants

I would like to give a shout out to the Teaching Assistants today.  They are the much loved, much forgotten and much needed people within our schools.  I know that without them my children would not be able to learn a thing! With the recent news item stating that the government are looking at reducing […]

Back to school

Less than a week left of the summer holidays and as ever there’s mixed emotions about going back to school and getting back into the routine of life. The summer is a strange time I think, everyone seems to slow down and be so much more laid back but there can be negative sides to […]

The award goes to….

Sometimes the realisation of how different children who have been adopted are to other children takes you by surprise. On Friday I attended our Secondary school’s awards ceremony for year 7 and 8 (aged 11-13 ish). I was attending as a Governor not as a parent of a child receiving an award. My daughter however […]

The see saw ride of High School

My daughter has just started at High School…..what a see saw of emotions. For children who have experienced trauma, and as a result have attachment difficulties, big transitions like this can be very difficult. Whilst she seems to be taking it all in her stride I know adapting to the incredible changes in expectations and […]

The voice of the child

This expression is used a lot within the adoption world. Many times social workers comment on the importance of the childs’ needs within our care system – that everything we do throughout the process is supposedly about protecting the needs of the child. Whilst I understand the intentions behind these comments I’m coming to realise […]

Our biggest fear

What is your biggest fear? They say the biggest fears we have are fear of flying, public  speaking, heights, the dark and intimacy. I have another theory that came from the great philosopher John Cleese which goes something like this: “it’s the goal of every englishman to get to the end of his life without […]

There’s a hole in my bucket

“He’s just attention seeking, if you give him attention it won’t do him any good” – this phrase and words to these effect are typical words we hear as parents  and professionals. When you see a child tugging on their parents clothes, demanding to be seen and heard it’s very often felt that the child […]

What happens when you slow down?

What happens when you slow down? When you stop the running around, dashing from one place to the next, focused on what’s coming and what needs to be done. What do you see, feel and hear when you can slow yourself down enough to really take in what’s around you? Well as I write this […]

When do we stop running?

My kids love to run. They run from the bedroom to the bathroom, they run downstairs, they run to the car, they run from the car into school. All day they run. It struck me this morning as I dropped them off – when do we stop running? When do we think it’s inappropriate to […]

What is it about birthdays?

What is it about birthdays? They come once a year – just one day but they can hold so much in them – memories, anticipation, sadness, happiness, surprises and shocks sometimes! It’s my birthday today and as ever it’s got me thinking about life – the ups and downs, the uncertainties and the roller coaster […]

A change is as good as a rest

I’ve been thinking about change recently. With Christmas and the change in routines, then back to school and work and the readjustments again to the routine, and then this week with the snow that routine has gone out the window again and change rears it’s ugly head once more. Of course for us adults change […]

Self-Regulation in traumatised children in education

Enabling children to be in the right frame of mind, or state of mind more like, to be able to learn is quite difficult for traumatised children. Due to the anxiety they feel and the reptilian part of the brain that is fired up when they are anxious, being able to then access the front […]

How to recognise an Avoidant Attachment Style

Those of you who work with vulnerable children in any capacity know that understanding their needs is the bedrock of being able to connect with them.  A child who has experienced trauma in their early life will have developed coping strategies to help them get through their schooling. In primary they are protected a little […]

What’s so wrong with rewards at school? (Part 3)

Which brings me to my final question – what do we hope to achieve by rewarding children? In the traditional sense with our reward charts and sliding scales of behaviour charts we are hoping they will tow the line and conform to the ‘right’ ways of behaving according to us. However you have to remember […]

What’s so wrong with rewards at school? (Part 2)

Yesterday we looked at what we reward children for …… today our second question – why do we feel the need to reward children? We are told that what you focus on is what you get and I can see that. The more you comment on the negative things and complain about how awful something is […]