A few weeks ago I heard a teacher shouting at a nine year old as I walked past the class. “How many times have I told you” he was shouting at the child who had a book in her hand and couldn’t remember what page they were up to. It made me think about how often as adults when we are stressed, tired, worried or anxious we find it difficult to remember things, as though our memories have shrunk. We come upstairs and can’t remember what we have come upstairs for, or we forget to tell someone something. In those situations, if someone shouted at us would it help us to remember, or would it make us feel more stressed, worried or anxious?
Yes it is annoying and frustrating for a teacher to tell a child something and to have to keep telling them the same thing, but shouting doesn’t help and will often make it worse. A gentle reminder helps reduce stress and anxiety and increases the likelihood of the child being able to remember things for the rest of the day, as well as helping them feel safe and secure in school, rather than anxious and scared.
So next time you feel yourself getting cross with a child for forgetting something, try and remember how we feel as adults when we forget things, and try being gentle instead