We have had an exciting start to the term. Fewer restrictions have enabled us to crack on with learning, ignite the enrichment program, relaunch many lunchtime activities and practice kapa haka for Matariki...the pure joy of being able to sing in assembly again!
While the past two weeks have been energising in many ways, it can be exhausting for some children. This is because there are so many things to learn and consider during the day, least of all engaging face to face and being around people.
I often hear from parents that the most angelic child at school can come home grumpy and argumentative or with an excess of energy built up through the day.
At school, we have regular pauses in learning. Sometimes, it is quiet reading time, 5 mins to chat with friends or a whole class mindfulness activity. Teachers find that allowing the child to sink into their inner world just for a moment helps them defuse stress and prepare to learn.
Transition times for children are just as important when they come home so that they can find their way of re-energising.
At school, they have been working hard, not just on their academic learning but physical activity and navigating the social and emotional world of school. While playtime is fun, for many, there is just as much learning going on as there is in the classroom - it is not necessarily downtime; navigating friendships, assessing social situations, problem-solving... is eating more important than playing? How do I join in the game? What shall I play today and who with? All quite exhausting!
I am not surprised that children can come home a bit grumpy and need to pause and stabilise their energy.
Children need "time out" from paying attention to others and their environment. However, they may use this time differently; some will spend time alone, perhaps in a fantasy world. Some will drop the guard they have employed through the day, feeling safe in their home. This may be seen in meltdown moments - a coiled spring being released.
Physical activity helps children disperse excess energy that may have built up from frustrations during the day. Unstructured play like playing with the dog or kicking a ball around will help them unwind, drop their defensive states and engage with their imagination.
Some children need to be nourished with hugs and outward signs of emotional connectedness. Some children like to chat about their day with someone older as this helps them "debrief" and "recharge their batteries". Some children rather not talk, and when you ask 'how was your day? You get a grunt in response.
So if your perfectly angelic child comes home irritable, grumpy and intent on irritating their sibling, perhaps they need a brain break, a pause to transition from the hectic school day to the calm of home.
If you are interested in finding out more about navigating your child's emotions, The Parenting Place has many resources.
In term 2, school will be closed for instruction on the following days:
- Friday 3 June - Teacher Only Day
- Monday 6 June - Queens Birthday
- Friday 23 June - Matariki Day
We look forward to welcoming parents to assembly on Friday 20 May, 9.10am to celebrate Pink Shirt Day. Come along and see SBS as a sea of pink! Note: Parents are required to wear a mask and numbers will be limited.
Noho ora mai