Things I'm going to try to remember this year
Its a new year and already I've been reading things that have been making me think. There are loads of great bloggers out there (not me!) but there is so much to learn from people with lived experience of what they are writing about and they have so much t teach professionals about what works, and just as importantly, what doesn't.
Children and young people are about to go back to school and its such an important time to reflect on what the break might have been like for some children and families and what toe going back to school process might be like for some children and families.
I've had a relaxing Christmas break, but not everyone will have had - it can be a stressful time for families and children, especially those living in any kind of adversity or with any kind of developmental or mental health difficulties. Spending all that time together inside, with your family, without the usual structure of school and everyday life can be incredibly difficult.
What is really important for me, starting this new year, is to remember that whilst many of us will have a new year = new start mindset, for some children and families it is another year of the same challenges that were faced last year, with positivity and hope in short supply.
I follow @itmustbemum on twitter and they published a fabulous blog this week - all about hope really but also about how hard it can be to get too a good place where things are starting to move in the right direction and where everyone's hard work starts to pay off. The link is (hopefully) here https://itmustbemum.wordpress.com/2018/12/28/anxiety-based-school-refusal-lilys-story/
Whatever school this family are working with is clearly doing a very good job, but the blog is a really salutary reminder of how much work is involved in getting an anxious young person back into school.
What it means for me in terms of what I want to remember for this year, is that change happens, but it can be very slow if looked at from the perspective of adults. Change means different things to different people, and this isn't helped by it not being a continuous process. Knowing what the end goal is for different people in the child's system is crucial so that there is a good level of understanding about where different people want to get to. Success (in terms fo meaningful change) for one person is not the same as success for another.
This is why it is so important to negotiate the end point (what the success looks like) at the start of the process is key.