The school term started for Michael ( names changed ) just three days ago . I spoke with Michael the night before the term started and explained that I was sure he was feeling “ fizzy” ( this is the word we have used on a ongoing basis to describe the experience of very fleeting emotions) we suspect that it has helped the children in the early stages to accept that they were not feeling settled – but without the stigma of having to label an emotion or the risk of using an incorrect emotion.
Over time the children were encouraged to name their emotions. I would say to them, I wonder how you are feeling, I know I would feel upset about that if it happened to me. This approach has always seemed to be very well received by the children.
Michael explained that he had prepared all the things he needed for the morning and had a twinge of excitement at the prospect of meeting his friends,
in school again, after almost 6 months and he wondered what it would be like – what changes had been made for the school to be Covid compliant.
I sensed that there may be a little bit of fear at the unknown. I checked he had packed a mask and although he assured me he had some antibacterial hand gel – I gave him another as a backup bottle. Then we discussed what sandwich fillings there were for his packed lunch.
From September 2013 when he came to live with us as a 9 year old, he has been fully involved in the preparation of his packed lunch each school day . He really struggled at first – but very soon clicked into a routine and copes very well. He thrived on the responsibility. We have supported him on days when he has slept late or when he has left the lunch on the kitchen bench – but 99% of the time he manages without support and has done so for many years.
I think my discussion that evening served to remind him of the routine and this offered a level of security, familiarity and a knowledge that we were returning to a “normal” routine.
Sadly this evening ( Sunday ) we have had a message to say that Michael will be unable to return to school tomorrow, as the school have had several cases of Coronavirus in his year group and he needs to stay home until further notice.
I suspect that this is the shape of things to come over the next few months ( hopefully not years ).
Jayne Robbins – A Blogging Foster Carer.