A chair that’s been flipped over. A desk that’s wet from spilled tears. A lesson that’s been derailed. A little one who has become unusually quiet and withdrawn. Most educators would agree that noticing whether a particular student is struggling socially or emotionally is often easy to do. But figuring out where that struggle is stemming from and how to best handle it is usually much more challenging. As more and more schools are becoming trauma-invested & providing social-emotional learning-based interventions, understanding the root issue is key. Understanding that root issue then means understanding and addressing the unmet need that the child is craving. Over the course of this blog series, we’ll to explore meeting the needs of relationship, responsibility and regulation, with today’s focus being on relationship.
The unmet relationship need is complex. Many children who deeply desire safe, caring, consistent relationships are the very ones who don’t trust relationships at all. They’re the very ones who most often push away those teachers and classmates attempting to forge connection with them. Although this can be frustrating for all parties, taking the time to build that relationship is critical for real learning to begin.