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Tell Me What You Think.

Nikky

Last week I wrote about encouraging children to flex their inventive muscles, and exercise their ability for creative and imaginative thought.

My point regarding the inherent fear in spontaneous action or communication has been echoed this week in news that our young people are developing anxiety around the mere act of talking to one another.


When you stop and think about it, it’s not such a great surprise. The rise of texting as the chosen method of communication has meant that our children get used to having time to consider what they want to say. The element of on-the-spot creation is removed, and replaced by the kind of editing they are used to absorbing through so many outlets of social media.

Are we losing the ability to converse?

Well I don’t think so, but there’s no disputing the fact that many young people are feeling pressure when they are called upon to put their thoughts into words, to articulate their opinions, without preparation and in the moment.

On the other hand there is the inspiring rise of young people engaging with political and environmental issues with the kind of energy that only they can apply to a cause - it puts the rest of us to shame.

So what’s going on here and do we need to be concerned?

The important thing, as ever, is to keep the conversation open. Make sure that you engage children in discourse, show interest in what they think and feel, and actually listen to what they say. It sounds obvious, but we’re all guilty of not making enough time, enough brain space, to have a proper, focussed, stimulating chat with our youngsters.

It’s usually up to us to take to lead, and as the grown-ups, we really should be interested in how the younger generation are thinking, and where they might lead is in the future.

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Imagine: ALL the people

Nikky

How often do your children get to spend time alone without any outside stimulus? When was the last time they had to draw on their own resources to entertain and motivate themselves?


Timetables for children these days can be hectic; after-school clubs, the pressures of school work, social media and other screen-based activities all vie for their attention and focus. It’s not so often that they are left alone to their own devices free from these distractions. And the same is true of us.
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Teach EYFS Article - Trivialising Feelings

Nikky

Here is the latest in my series of articles based on conversations with children, first published in Teach Early Years magazine. In each piece, I focus on one prominent theme. For this one, it’s TRIVIALISING FEELINGS. My thanks to editor Jacob Stow for allowing reproduction, and if you want to know more, details of this and their other magazines and resources are available at: https://www.teachwire.net

* What annoys you about how adults speak to you?
* When I'm crying and they say, 'You're just tired.’  
      (G - female)


During this little girl’s short interview, she mentioned this issue twice in slightly different ways. No doubt something had happened recently that made this perceived injustice so fresh and raw, but what lies underneath is a common source of upset.

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Three's a Crowd

Nikky

There are some difficult lessons to be learned about human relationships during a lifetime, and we have to deal with some of the toughest ones in our tenderest years.


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Generation Bored

Nikky

We glibly talk about how the cycle of life brings us back to a childlike existence once we reach our dotage, but I had this brought home to me last week, through a very specific example.

I was on the phone to my elderly mother, and once we’d made arrangements to meet for lunch, she said, “Well, at least that’ll give me something to do.”

I asked her if she often found herself with nothing to do, or at a loose end, and she told me that these days she regularly got really bored.



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