Day 64: Perspective

Write about the last disagreement you had with a friend or family member — from their perspective.

Well I would but I’ve had a really interesting day today and begun to see a whole different perspective on managing behaviour at school, so this is the ‘perspective’ I will be writing about today.

I’ve been participating (it’s liberating to use the letter ‘p’ after yesterday’s post!) in my first day of training to become a Thrive Practitioner. Thrive is all about how the experiences that young children have, or rather don’t have, impact on their ability to grow and develop emotionally and to cope with all that life throws at them.

Today we have been focusing on the very early part of children’s development – the first 6 months. That’s the time when you develop the child’s knowledge that they feel safe and special and that their needs will be met. It’s when the parent makes that baby feel like they are the most special being in the entire world. This is done in many ways; through touch, sounds, attending to their needs, movement, eye contact and , above all, love.

I’ve spent the entire day thinking of the different children at school who have had an interruption in this part of their life and the effect that this has on their behaviour at school. During these early months a child is reliant on their reptilian brain and everything they do is a result of their battle to survive. They learn that if they cry, something will happen and they will be soothed and cared for. So many of our children haven’t had that experience. This can be for many reasons and the philosophy of the Thrive approach is that there’s no-one at fault. Many of these parents haven’t been able to give these experiences because they themselves never had them. When these children are in the classroom and experience something they can’t cope with they revert to this reptilian brain and the choice between fight, flight or fright. The behaviour we see is the display of this choice, they haven’t built up the resilience to deal with many day to day events.

The research shows that even if these experiences haven’t happened early in life there are activities and experiences that we can give children later in life that will go some way to ‘filling’ and ‘patching’ these gaps. There’s hope for these children.

It’s very brave of my headteacher to spend a considerable sum on training so many staff in the school in this approach. Most schools focus on professional development for the academic subjects but, as a school, we believe that this approach will make a huge difference. By improving these children’s ability to cope with life they will be able to access more of the curriculum themselves and will cause far less disruptions to the learning of others.

If the rest of the training is as thought provoking as today, my brain may just go into meltdown!

More information about the Thrive approach can be found at: https://www.thriveapproach.co.uk/

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