October 23, 2019
By Dr Kathy Weston
I am currently clearing my house of unwanted items (doing a “Marie Kondo”). The experience has left me stunned at the sheer volume of “stuff” that has been accumulated since we moved into this house 6 years ago. I did toy with selling the lot, but then I reflected on the fact that there are 4.1 million children living in poverty in the UK.
That’s 30% of children, or nine in a classroom of 30. Currently, people are relying heavily on local charity shops and food banks. Christmas is coming and many families are under enormous strain. I felt much happier giving a substantial amount of household stuff to charity this week, rather than flogging the lot on Facebook. Giving feels good.
Parents often ask how they can ensure that their children do not grow up spoiled. One way to do this is to make them aware of the poverty in your local area and then ask: how we can help alleviate it? As individuals and as a family? Ask your children to find an item to put into the foodbank box at the end of your supermarket shop – that can be their job!
In our house, school exams are approaching for both boys after the half term holiday. My kitchen table is piled high with folders, notes and test papers.
Why? Because as parents, our job is to help our children get organised (the very first rule of effective revision) and then to help them pace their revision. In this way, they are much less likely to ever get stressed about any little tests or big exams. As parents, we need to do the heavy-lifting.
Encourage them to tell you the areas that they are struggling with. Praise them for sticking at it. Keep a balance. After 30 minutes of revision, it might be time for a jog around the block, a trip to the park or a nice snack.
Keep it fun. My boys traditionally skateboard around the kitchen when we are conjugating French verbs! Revision doesn’t have to be boring. Help them see that they are making progress and tell them you are proud of their attitude.
I am giving a big talk this week on the topic of resilience to parents and professionals of children with special educational needs and I am really looking forward to it.
In preparing for the talk, I was struck by the sheer volume of organisations that are out there, ready and able to support parents and carers. Here are my 5 favourite websites:
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