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Stop The Sucking: Some Unexpected Back To School Problems Canada Education

As I blogged before, me switched from a nail biter to a sucker. My poor lanyard and sometimes a necklace that I wearcan be permanently implanted in my mouth during stressful times. Lately, as we continue to learn more about back to school, and the unexpected but understandable changes that come with itI noticed that I was sucking on things a lot more often. It hit me yesterday while replying to a couple of emailsthat the collar of my shirt was in my mouth.

I do this so often without even realizing it.

This wasn’t the first time this has happened, especially in the past few months. And while I can understand why I feel stressed and why this might calm me down, I also understand that in the time of COVID, putting objects in your mouth is a particularly bad idea. Then I started thinking about when we would go back to school. Now I will wear a mask and shield every day in class. Sucking on anything will no longer be an option. Same goes for children. I know so many of our students who calm down by putting their thumb in their mouth. Or bite your sleeves. I’m not saying this is the right thing to do, but as a “sucker” I can empathize with these decisions.

While we prepare the children for the start of school – as we prepare – Do we need to help these “suckers” find something else that will calm them down? Maybe it is …

  1. Fidgeting with an object on your wrist (such as a scrunchie)
  2. scribble in a notebook or on paper,
  3. or get involved in an independent sensory game (e.g. create your own container with modeling clay).

Maybe it’s something else entirely. I wonder if I need to invest in some mints to suckle on regularly throughout the day. (Choking is the only reason I wouldn’t recommend this option for children.)

Whatever the solution, I beg all educators, administrators, and parents to look beyond it the negative connotations sometimes associated with this type of behaviorand notice the stress. This sucking could very well be Self-reg in action. At a time of increased stress, the loss of the ability to engage in this calming behavior can be a stressful factor in itself. Working together on solutions could make a huge difference to those children and adults who find this sensory option comforting to them. How could you support the “fools” in your life? They really need you now. I get it. I understand. I can relate. This little habit of mine has resulted in more problems to be solved before we go back to school.

Aviva

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