It's Christmas! The time when we spend a little more time with our families, and when some long-lasting memories can be formed. It's my bet that we all have the memory of one or more seemingly trivial events from our childhood that nonetheless had a deep and lasting impact on our emotional landscape. It strikes me as strange then, that it’s so easy to forget this in our communications with our own children.
Yes. This week I’d like to deal with the issue of attention. I’m not sure I understand exactly why it seems to be such a problem for us adults.
How many times have you heard a grown-up explain away, or dismiss, a child’s behaviour on the grounds that they are, “just doing it for attention” and have you ever stopped to think about what underpins that dismissal?
We can all be guilty of losing sight of just how intensely our children take on board the troubles of the world.
I have been truly moved by how upset some of the children I have spoken to are regarding the plight facing Syrian refugee children. It’s so easy to forget how deeply our children absorb and react to world events.
It can be easy to underestimate young children’s ability to utilise memory, perhaps because as adults we find it so hard to remember the early days of our own lives. However research, and recent developments in neuroscience, show us that young children are laying down memories all the time.
Well when you stop and think about it, that’s no real surprise, they have to be, otherwise how would they be learning? And learning really is their thing!
When I started working in education I remember suddenly being struck by the question, “What is it that defines learning as opposed to mere recall…is there a difference?”