I was talking to a class teacher last week who has 5 year old twin boys in her class who are disruptive, can’t sit still and very immature and attention seeking, especially after lunch time. I suggested the teaching assistant in the class take them out for a five minute calm down as soon as they return to class after lunch to help them adjust to the afternoon back in class.
This week when i spoke to the teacher she reported that they were much better in the afternoons after their time out of class, and said the boys had asked if they could be babies during their five minutes with the teaching assistant. This involved them crawling on the floor and using baby voices to talk to each other. On their return to class they were more settled, focused and engaged than they had been before this having this time out of class.
It may seem a bit strange to be allowing children to do this in school, but these children have five other siblings, two that are younger than them. With the best parenting in the world it can be impossible to meet the “baby needs” of all the children in this family. This opportunity provided by the school enables these children to revisit and fill the gaps on some of their early developmental and emotional needs and enables them to return to class as five year olds and engage more fully with their learning.
In play therapy session’s children often regress to a much earlier developmental stage of play and i recently spent several sessions with a year 6 boy who wanted us to roll a car back and forth to each other for most of the session. By providing opportunities to accept and allow children to be where and how they need to be, we are enabling them to fill in some of the missing gaps in their earlier lives, and catch up on where they need to be. In a similar way to how we may provide extra support in schools for a child who needed additional help using a pencil or writing.
Be aware of how many children in your class or school may be trying to tell you ” I’ve got baby needs.”