Consider this, the school you go to already knows that you have issues around anxiety, low self-esteem, trauma and loss. You already have an education health care plan (what used to be called a statement) and receive a lot of support in school, you have outside long-term therapeutic help. Your psychological and mental health issues are widely known. In short you have difficulties maybe even disabilities.
and you are punished for them
How does that feel?!
Makes me feel a bit sick inside, turns my stomach, makes me feel upset, close to tears.
If you have a physical or external disability of difficulty, it is visible, hopefully, you make allowances, allow that person extra time to move around, allow that person extra time with accessing work, allow extra time with activities that require physical movement. That is the kind, sensible thing to do.
What happens if you have an ‘invisible’ or internal difficulty or disability (diagnosed or not)?
If you don’t understand it, you may think the person is strange, lazy, weird, naughty, attention seeking or weak……… and needs disciplining.
How does that feel?
Disciplining you, for your mental or psychological health difficulties, that somehow you can discipline difficulties out of people.
That makes me feel angry.
Imagine this, you are very fidgety, a new person has come into the classroom you do not know, you are on edge, frightened even. You begin to rock on your chair, you can’t stop, who are they, what are they going to do? You receive a detention for not sitting still…….for being annoying.
You are anxious, worried, scared – the answer – discipline!
Trauma, attachment, loss, depression, mental health difficulties are not understood in schools (or not enough).
That makes me feel at a loss, powerless and out of control – the answer– tell people, I am angry, and if you are going through the same, I get it and you.
I channel my anger by campaigning (when I can).
Imagine you look at your school planner, it is littered with negative notes. I wonder how that feels to look at it.
For many children they would ‘say’ you are:
- Not worthwhile
- Confirms your already very negative self view
- Your self esteem takes another knock
- You self confidence is ‘shot at’
School and society needs to have a clearer understanding of the impact of difficult starts, attachment and the impact of multiple losses.
I understand schools need behavioural policies, need to help children understand the consequences of their actions, need to help them be valuable members of society and I support teachers and schools (having worked in one for 10 years). It’s hard.
Schools (and society) need to know that you CANNOT discipline psychological and mental health problems out of children. Kindness, understanding and forethought about handling anxiety, trauma and loss are needed.
Detention, Isolation, On-Report – think carefully about those words what do they remind you of?
They remind me of Prison!
Kindness and Understanding are the key.
If any of this resonates with you from any angle you can come along to my new support group in Acomb, York, there are links below.
Have a peaceful weekend