We’ve been hearing about teachers being taught the SWAN framework as a springboard for thinking about the return to school for children and adults, whereby the swan looks like they are gracefully gliding across the surface, whilst in fact they are frantically paddling beneath the water. Teachers are being told that right now, our children need us more than ever to be the swan. 
 
Please think about what this teaches children before you start gliding around like nothing has happened. This teaches children that the right response to loss is to be strong. 
Going back to the classroom after lockdown

The myth about being strong 

The myth about being strong is huge. This unconsciously teaches children two habits that will hinder them for life: be strong for your children and be strong for others. 
 
Real strength looks like this: 
The natural demonstration of emotions. 
Saying and doing what is emotionally accurate. 
 
Real strength creates these results: 
Teaches children how to communicate feelings, not to bury them. 
Sustains energy for other tasks. 

Children watch everything we do 

The alternative is to hold on to feelings that, in turn, lead to explosions or implosions. Children watch everything we do. We must become more aware that our beliefs and actions will become their beliefs and actions. 
 
We’re asking you to be human, not strong. Children need the tools to be able to deal with the losses they’ve experienced. 

How can we help? 

Open Ears is our year-long programme that provides the tools to be able to deal with losses of any kind; loss of a relative, loss of routine, loss of a pet, moving to a new house, transitions to new classes and schools, and more. Through weekly activities that can be used for PSHE, assemblies, and circle times the programme helps children to understand and communicate emotions, especially around grief, and loss. Available in three age ranges. 
 
We have free resources for you to use in your classroom. 
 
Helping Children with Loss Programme – train up to eight people via web link or face-to-face in this four-part programme. Our ACEs-informed training provides parents, teachers and anyone who works with children with the specific tools for helping a child of any age and/or ability level with a personal loss of any kind. 
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