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When and How do you follow your Instincts?
We see so many posts and messages from parents, like the one from The Passable Parent where they look back and wish they had done things differently, sharing their story so that others can maybe feel stronger to follow that gut feeling that you need to follow your child's lead...
The posts and stories help.. as they can make you feel stronger. They empower you to listen to your gut.....
BUT it is important to also know, the reason they/you/we often don't do what our gut tells us is due to the other factors that get in the way..
When is enough enough.. children's reactions to school can come totally out of the blue. One day they are attending and then all of a sudden everything changes.. Or sometimes it is a slow burn, you see it coming and just don't know what to do to stop it.
There are always reasons it takes us longer than we hoped to 'do the right thing'... and listen to our inner voice.. Most of the time we struggle to know what the right thing even is.... It happens in all areas of our life, but when you become a parent, the stakes get even higher.. now it is not just our lives, but these other little/or big beings we are making decisions for..
If this is your situation, then you are likely to have accepted and understood your child has barriers to attendance, but maybe you are feeling so awful and lost, that you have not thought about the fact that you as a parent will have barriers to face as well.
Just as you do not blame your child for their difficulties, don't blame yourself either or look back in shame. You often do the best you can at any time.. It is all we can ever really do..
These barriers I mention will be blocking your instinctive way as a parent of supporting your child and making you feel confused and like you cannot do ANYTHING right!
So, we like to look at ways forward.. and what can help if you are in this place is to really focus in on the barriers.. Write them down and work out how you can overcome them.
Often even just acknowledging that these barriers as in place now, or having been there in the past, helps you as a parent have a clearer mind about why you took so long to listen to your child, or why it feels so overwhelming now to know what the next best thing is to do....
Writing it down can help you build a safe path.
I have put these barriers into two groups;
1. Practical 'stuff'
2. Emotional input & opinions
Below are some examples from each group;
Practical barriers
-School sending emails with info you cannot answer.. questions that are over your head.. you don't know what to write.. or what to say when they want meeting after meeting..
-Work and your employer.. how do you navigate your employment when you have a child home
-Income and benefits
-Getting the other siblings to school
-Making it fair in the home in regards to making safe spaces for the child who needs to stay home to learn
-Your child may be aggressive in the home due to dysregulation and this can have an impact on the home and damage
-Money for books and education materials
-Increased expense on having a child at home who needs food and entertainment (this is relevant to those who have very active sensory seeking behaviours and those who get free school meals)
-Sorting out childcare if siblings need to go to clubs
-Paying for private reports to identify why you should not be fined, paying advocates to help or solicitors
-Paying for tutors when school don't offer learning but you feel desperate for your child to have just something..
Emotional & opinion;
-What your child's other parent thinks
-What school staff say about your child
-What family and friends and neighbours say
-What you see in the news and media about education
-How our historical view of education impacts us
-How you are able to manage loosing your employment/loosing your identity and career
- How you emotionally manage being with your child at home consistently
-How you balance fairness and sibling reactions
-The impact on your relationships and friendships, being unable to leave your home day to day
If working this stuff out feels hard, then we want you to know.. you are not alone.. It really is such a difficult process.
If you need help - consider
Joining our membership where we can help you navigate this for £10 or £20 a month
Or our free support service for EHC request
Or join the Not Fine In school Group
Or our Share.Listen.Empower group.

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