Our new future puts relationships firmly at the centre of our practice. Helping the child to feel safe to stay and safe to play requires strength, from recognising our own vulnerability.
Managing loss and uncertainty starts with our self-care and our capacity to enable healing through play.
Suzanne Axelsson talks about the ‘play-responsive educator’ who notices the depth of the child’s immersion in play, ‘listens’ through this observation and sensitively times the interaction to extend the experience for the child. Play is powerful therapy when we witness and ‘hear’ their stories through play.
Telling stories to children so they can name feelings in themselves. Each child’s unique language of play tells us how they are feeling. Whether boisterous or solitary behaviour, the child needs to feel connected with us to understand feelings.
How we use our presence with the child in this new future requires even greater sensitivity from us. While we may be conscious of lost time let’s focus on the extraordinary magic of the secure relationship.
Early Years Mental Health training – a video, useful links and free resources are here.