Parent Family Support Advisor (PFSA)
My name is Mrs Chelsea Pearce and I am the Parent Support Advisor for Puriton Primary School. I live in the village and have a son here at the school. After many years having an interest in Primary education I started at the school in September of this year. Before this position, I used to work as a Deputy Practice Manager in a Dentist where I ran a ‘Mini Molars’ club to educate children on Oral health. Due to my previous position, I have been been trained in Safeguarding for the past 4 years.
This term I have had the pleasure of meeting all of the amazing children at the school and had the privilege of working with a few. Some of the topics we have worked on this past term are:
Some children find it difficult to understand the feelings they feel and to help them understand their feelings there are many resources I use, depending on the child. A couple I find most useful I will share with you.
Firstly, Inside Out is a great children’s film and a great way for children to understand their feelings and that it is normal to feel Anger, Sadness, Scared etc. It’s the way that we act on our feelings that is important. When children don’t understand what they are feeling, they can act out, by shouting or they can physically act on their feelings, or they can go withdrawn and you may struggle to get them to open up.
Here is a short clip of the film, where you meet Riley's Emotions;
Too often we punish our children for their actions when feeling an emotion, rather than understanding or discussing the emotion itself. This can make our children feel that they are wrong for feeling angry, frustrated or anxious. If our children don't know how to channel their anger or frustration, they can end up lashing out. Here are some tips to try if you find our child maybe finding it difficult to channel their anger:
- Tell them its okay to feel angry; everybody feels angry sometimes, but its not okay to lash out or hurt something/someone.
-Discuss a space they can go to, to calm down when they start to feel cross.
- Ask them what happens to their body when they become angry.
- Do they feel hot?
- Do they shake?
- Do they feel tense?
- Ask them what makes them angry, is it because its time to turn off their Tablet or the TV? Explain why you ask them to do this. Maybe set a timer for the last 30 minutes, so that its not such a shock when you come over and ask them to turn it off, instead they are expecting it.
-If you see the signs, try to distract them, ask them to count to 20 or backwards from 20, or to breathe in deeply and see how far they can count until they need to breathe out. By doing this they are thinking about something else and they will calm down.
By understanding what triggers the emotion and how they feel when they have that emotion you can help them to overcome it. If you start to identify the signs you could ask them to go to their safe place before they get to boiling point.
The second resource I use is ‘The Colour Monster’ book. I find this book lovely to read, as you go through the book it relates colours to different feelings. By reading the book you get a chance for your child to ask questions about feelings.
Here is the book being read on YouTube;
One of the other things lots of children have been experiencing since returning to school is anxiety and especially Separation Anxiety. Coming back to school after so long in this strange time has been welcomed by some children, having that bit of routine back, seeing their friends, getting back to ‘normal’ but for others it's been really difficult. They have been in their safe place at home for so long, with their loved ones and suddenly they are back at school, things are different and they aren’t sure what to expect.
Although we are trying to do our best by keeping things as normal as we can at school, we also have to keep everyone safe and have to do certain things to ensure the safety of everyone. Some of the children that have experienced separation anxiety I have been lucky enough to work with and I found a great book to read with them. It's called ‘The Kissing Hands’ and it's about a racoon that is scared to go to school because he doesn’t wasn’t to leave his mum. Mum kisses his hands and tells him her love will be with him all day. It’s a brilliant story and we enjoyed reading it together. Afterwards we made kissing hands - one for the parent and one for our child and it’s seems to have had a positive effect on their anxiety.
Due to the current situation I thought it might not be best to ask parents to kiss children’s actual hands. As we have to wash them so often, I didn’t want our children to get upset if they were washing their parents kisses away. We made ours on paper and laminated them after colouring and designing, then lastly popping some ribbon on them so our children were able to wear them discreetly under their jumpers.
I hope you have found the above resources helpful. Parents seeking support should continue to email the school office or speak with Miss Williams.