Looked after children

  • Self care is a topic that’s often dismissed - whether it’s gently mocked as ‘ladies who lunch’, all about getting massages and painting your nails, or whether it’s a simple belief that “I don’t have time for that”. I used to be one of those people - I thought self care was a nice idea, but I couldn’t see how I could fit it in to my life. I’ve written about self care quite extensively in my book, as learning to look after myself as well as Tickle was the single biggest thing that turned our adoption around from being on the verge of disruption to the relatively ’normal’ family life that we have today.

  • I recently conducted a small survey to find out how school teachers felt about the issues that looked after and care-experienced children experience in school. I am working on developing some resources to help schools be better equipped to deal with the issues, so first I wanted to hear what the teachers themselves had to say.

    The summary of results is below:

  • Today I want to talk about a thing called affect matching. It’s a really useful tool when it comes to helping children to regulate their emotions; it’s something we do instinctively with young babies, although it seems to drift away as our children get older. Learning about affect matching (pronounced with the stress on the ‘a’) has completely changed how I interact with Tickle, and his emotional literacy has come on in leaps and bounds. I’ve written about affect matching before, both on this blog and in my book, but today I want to break it down a bit to help you understand the science behind it, and how to put it in to practice.

    So what is ‘affect’?

    That’s a good question. Affect refers to the external presentation of an emotional state. It can encompass facial expression, body language, and tone of voice, all in one word. It’s also a way of talking about how someone is acting, without making assumptions on what they might be feeling, for example ‘he has a negative affect’ means ‘his body language and facial expression are quite negative’. Usually you would expect affect to be consistent with an internal emotional state, but that isn’t always the case.

© 2019 Cat McGill