Virtual Learning can be Harder for Children with Trauma, but Here Are Some Tips to Help
This past year, we have had a lot of upheaval in our lives thanks to the pandemic. And until a vaccine is more widely distributed, virtual learning may still be a part of your child’s life. For any child, this disruption to the daily routine can be problematic, but for children with trauma, it can be an even bigger issue.
The Main Issue
In a trauma-sensitive and supportive school, life is structured in the classrooms and on the grounds where students get face-to-face contact with educators. This structure, safety and personal attention allows for the creation of a warm and welcoming learning environment which in turn helps build a positive relationship with adults and peers.
However, with virtual learning this structure is upended and the face-to-face contact that builds trust can seem less personal over a video screen. So how can we as parents support our children with trauma during remote and virtual learning, especially when we are still dealing with teaching style issues during in-person learning?
Be An Advocate
The most important thing you can do for your child with trauma during this time of upheaval is to continue to be their biggest advocate. You understand more about trauma and what your child needs more than the school does. So make sure that you are continuing to tell your child’s school and teacher what they need.
Keep Healing as the Priority
Remember that healing should take priority over performance, whether that performance is behavioral or schoolwork related. Healing is necessary for children with trauma to regain feelings of trust and safety from the adults in their lives. Make sure that you encourage your child’s teacher to continue to build that open and trusting relationship with your child. With the physical distance the pandemic has caused, this is more important now than ever.
As a parent, it is important to help provide structure that in-person learning gives during virtual and remote learning. This can mean giving your child a schedule to follow at home, much as they would in school. It also means ensuring that your child’s teacher has a set time that your child knows they can always reach out to them if they need something, whether it is help with schoolwork or just to talk. Not only is this time structured, but it also helps to continue to build on the relationship between your child and their teacher.
Give Your Child Space
Don’t forget that even when trying to provide your child the structure they need to build trusting and safe relationships with adults that you also need to give them the space and time they need to heal. Healing takes a long time and it is something that your child needs to work through on their own; it can’t be dictated or done on someone else’s timeline.
The upheaval caused by the pandemic has certainly affected all children on some level, but the change in school life can have an even bigger effect on children with trauma. You may have already experienced your child regressing in their progress or acting out due to the changes in their life. That is okay. Remember that their behavior is not disrespect, but a cry for help and love. By being your child’s biggest advocate at school and with time, you can begin to see progress again, even during these more challenging times.
Want even more information on how to help your adopted child with trauma thrive in school? Download my free guide now with my 3 keys to success with school for your child with trauma.