Since the children have return to the Academy we have noticed an increase in the need to focus on the teaching of how to regulate emotions.
What do we mean by regulating emotions?
As adults we have learnt to manage emotions within our selves with a range of strategies. As children develop they are exposed to a range of emotions and they develop strategies to manage these feelings and to verbalise how they feel.
For some children the lockdown has left a gap in this learning that happens naturally during their time at Cross Farm. This means we are seeing children who find managing their behaviour trickier and therefore their responses could be an outburst or being withdrawn or even talking about not wanting to come to school or being at home.
How do we support at Cross Farm?
When we notice that a child has difficulties we start an intervention with the child that focuses on looking at the different emotions and what each of these mean, what they look like and feel like in themselves and what they look like in others. We focus on the emotion rather than the behaviour.
We would take this emoji
We would ask the children to look at this image and suggest how this person is feeling. We would then explore why they are not sad or angry or happy and what this would look like. A discussion would now take place with a child about what could we do if we feel like this. This looks like an anxious emoji - therefore this person is worried about something, they may feel funny in their tummy as well. If I was feeling anxious I would talk to an adult and tell them what I am feeling anxious about or I could ask my friends about how I am feeling and they could help me not to feel anxious.
To support the children we will often use our PSHE sessions to look at different emotions and our Reception classes have an emotion chart to support children in expressing how they are feeling.
How can I support at home?
Recognising if your child would require support with regulating emotions is the first step. From this Behaviour Matters has some great ideas for support which are here Please speak to us at the Academy and we have links with the Primary Mental Health Team in Surrey Heath who can support and advise further.
Support is also available through your GP.