I heard last week of a fight between two mums in the playground of a primary school because a 9 year old had told her mum the other child had ” looked at her funny” at school that day. This physical and verbal exchange happened in the playground in front of the mums two children and a lot of other children and parents. It had to be stopped by a class teacher who received a torrent of abuse in the process.
It made me think about how difficult it can be for children in our schools who witness this behaviour outside of school as being acceptable, whereas if they behaved like this in school there would be serious consequences for them. For these children, who are constantly trying to follow two conflicting rule books, the world must seem a very confusing and frightening place.
It is essential that as school staff we are aware of how we behave at all times,both verbally and non-verbally , and the messages this gives to children about acceptable and unacceptable ways to behave. As adults we all have a responsibility to model the behaviour we would like them to copy, and try to demonstrate appropriate ways of managing and expressing our feelings.