At the moment, your children might be behaving exactly the same as they always have, or they might seem completely different, or switch between the two. Whilst this might not be easy to manage (!), this is completely normal at this strange time. Children may well be worried about a whole range of things at the moment, will often display this worry in a range of ways. Here are some ways that anxiety might present itself:
Trying to remember this when dealing with their behaviour might help you to understand, and talking to them about their worries may help them to recognise why they are feeling the way they are. The ideas below can help with motivating children with their school work, but can also be used for other behaviours too. There are some other parenting tips at the bottom of the page...
Rewards and Motivation
At school, we use a range of strategies to try to keep the children motivated and reward them for making good choices. Children often feel more safe and secure if they know what to expect, which is why we also have routines in school, and tell the children what's happening each day. We know that routines are harder to keep to during this strange time, but here are some ideas and resources which might help...
Try to make it clear what your children need to do to earn a reward, and what the reward will be. Try to involve your child(ren) in deciding the system that they would like, and what an appropriate reward might be. If you can, come up with a system where the children get the reward regularly. In general, the younger the child is, the quicker they need the reward; this could be daily (or even less!) for little ones.
We will also be putting some blank reward certificates in the outdoor classroom by next Friday which you can take and give to your children.
The reward system could be, for example:
- Getting a piece of a (small!) jigsaw for each good choice with a reward when the jigsaw is completed
- Getting a marble for each good choice, with a reward when a small jar is full of marbles
- A simple chart with ticks / stars drawn on
Rewards could be, for example:
- Choosing a sweet / treat from a jar
- Earning time on electronics
- Choosing a board game to play
This is another idea from Mrs Martin...use post it notes like an advent calendar for children to peel off one of their choice to find the mystery reward underneath.
When the children were at school, they were used to having "brain breaks" three times a day. This helps the children to calm and be more mindful. There is an example of a brain break on the Y2 page here: https://www.highfieldhall.derbyshire.sch.uk/y2-1/There are also some other activities on the Mind Up website here: https://mindup.org.uk/mindup-activities/ and here: https://mindup.org.uk/families/