It is important to be aware of what is happening in our children’s schools. Asking our kids how their day was and watching the energy of their response. When your child comes home from school, are they happy or neutral, or do they seem flat? Were they getting amazing grades and then all of a sudden their grades are slipping? Do they resist about going to school everyday?
All of these were my reality and I watched my little boy growing more and more frustrated at home. I also noticed he really wasn’t spending time with friends after school or on the weekends. His little light lost some of it’s luster.
There were several things that contributed to his struggle in the school. Ultimately he did not feel safe in his environment, and for any one, especially a little person, safety is paramount. He got lost in the crowd and ultimately was not seen. There were several events that led him to this space, but ultimately, it’s a dynamic. He needed “more” in a space where they delivered less. This is the struggle of our public school system, sadly. Once we finally decided to pull him and place him in a different school environment, the shift was instantaneous. In less than a week, my child was transformed. He’s getting up early for school and not complaining, he’s completing his homework without arguing; he’s excited about going to school. The first day of his new school he came home and said, “My teacher told me I’m a good fit here”. The smile on his face was priceless. I could see he felt safe, important and inspired. He felt the care of his teacher, and that encouragement has shifted everything in an instant.
Sometimes remedies are so very simple. The experience of safety and belonging mean everything to all of us, but most deeply to a child. Watch closely and adjust. The smallest shifts can often provide the greatest relief.