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Things we tell our children…

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...and could do well to listen to ourselves.

Taking a moment

The other day I was re-reading Joanna Grace's article about using the 'settle jar' sensory resource to support a child to regulate their emotions and feel calm. In it, Joanna reminds us that having a way to step back and take a moment is a strategy that is useful to all of us:

Ultimately what I would hope to gift the child in doing this is a way out of distress. So that when they felt the unpleasant sensation of anger, they could go to the jar, shake it and take a pause to watch the glitter settle, breathing deeply as they did so, and reach that place of calm where a resolution to whatever the problem was might be easier to get to. It's a skill many adults could use too.

Developing a 'toolbox' of strategies that can support children to regulate their emotions is something that educators work towards every day. But do we offer ourselves that same gift in our lives? The time to find our own calm and perhaps see a little more clearly.

Pause, breathe... take a moment.


'Mistakes' are opportunities

I recently made a mistake at work. Nothing terrible, but it sat with me for a few days. It hung around at the back of my mind, pestering me. I was giving myself a hard time about it.

When this kind of thing happens, I often think of particular sections of the Characteristics of Effective Learning in the Early Years guidance document Development Matters:


Playing and Exploring – Taking a risk, engaging in new experiences, and learning by trial and error

Active Learning – Bouncing back after difficulties

Creating and Thinking Critically – Reviewing how well the approach worked


Helping the children we work with to see ‘mistakes’ as wonderful opportunities, as places where invention and understanding and knowledge happen, is one of the most positive gifts we can give them. But do we offer ourselves that same gift? The opportunity to find the place where things happen?



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