Taming Butterflies

With Covid-19 restrictions I’ve been prompted to think about two burning questions….
April 15, 2020

Children returning to kindy was a recent Queensland Government announcement.

At MPC, we’re getting better at listening to and making adjustments to new announcement. What a roller coaster ride everyone has been on over the past couple of months and one we will continue to ride.

How have you been weathering the influx of information and the speed of changes? I’ve certainly had a few butterflies in my tummy and an odd sleepless night or two. Watching and listening to children has prompted me to wonder about what they think about the world around them.

What do children know and understand about the changes within their own homes and families? How are they faring? I think the range of children’s responses is as broad as the adult population: from being very relaxed and resilient to highly anxious and everything in between.

Many children have returned to kindy with feelings ranging from great joy to great worry. As always we are ready to welcome and support everyone, knowing that some children may need an extra hand in making the step back to kindy. Sometimes adults talk about having butterflies in your tummy to describes feelings including great excitement, a mix of being a bit excited and a bit scared to being significantly worried.

Sue Whiting, the author of Taming Butterflies, tells a great story to which many children relate. She not only describes and acknowledges worried feelings, she provides some strategies to help with managing those feelings.

           What do you do when you have butterflies in your tummy, the ones that make you shy, nervous and keep you awake at night? One day a visitor arrives, who
shows Tilly how to make those pesky butterflies be still.

This is such a great book to start conversations with children if they have butterflies in their tummies. She reminds us to acknowledge those feeling with children, to clearly let them know that it is okay to feel this way. She also reminds us to breath and practise self-talk to be brave. Something I know I have done quite a bit recently.

We only have one copy at kindy however Kim has kindly read this story which Hannah edited and can be accessed on MPC you tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aaojShWRlk. It can be stopped at any time enabling parents to discuss different pages with their child.

Thank you Sue Whiting for a great resource to support conversations to build awareness of feelings and ways of managing them, not only in these times of change but whenever children are facing something new.