The Minis go back to school tomorrow. It used to fill me with dread and fear. The phone calls would start. I would constantly check my phone, to see if the school had phoned, to tell me the latest awful thing they had done. Collecting them for school, would always involve the walk of shame, “can we have a word please”, the look from other parents.
High school should have been even worse. It’s a massive school. It’s huge! There are millions of students, swarming around like ants. The school has a great academic record, and an even better behaviour stance. We shouldn’t have lasted long at all. This is their last year. Only another 9 months and we will have made it. So how come the high school has been so positive? There are many reasons, but these are my top tips for attachment aware school…
- Good communication between staff, as well as parents. We are a partnership. We support each other. We have mutual respect
- Compromise – for example sanctions – have to be a natural consequence for an action. If they mess about at lunch break, they miss their lunch break. Consequences have to be timely as well, there and then, not in a weeks time.
- Close working together within teams at school. Our school has a well run student support, they communicate with other – about the Minis. If they are having a bad day, if they are having a great day. They know about incidents before the Minis arrive at the lesson.
- Not blaming the parents of traumatised children for behaviour. The staff at the school know I am trying my best. They know the Minis outbursts are not my fault. No matter how bad things are at school, the staff know I have seen and experienced worse at home. They ask for my advice, they listen to what I have to say, and they hear me. They are a fantastic support to me, as well as the Minis
- Supporting each other – staff need to support and debrief each other, which allows new starts and prevents secondary trauma for those supporting my children.
- Changing the paradigms – looking for sucesses, changing the way you see things – meeting the needs of the indiviual. Not treating my two the same. Treating all children who have experienced trauma as individuals. The staff at the school have never tried to force square pegs into round holes.
- Learning from each other – from me and other staff, other professionals. What works, what doesn’t – but that can always change though.
School continues to be a struggle for my two, but they love going. They feel included, they feel supported. The school don’t always get it right, but neither do I. We blunder our way through, picking up the pieces as we go along. Here’s to another school year, another chapter to epic novel I always promise I will write….