I know that teachers have a hard job, and I fully respect how full on and topsy turvy the world has been for those in education over the past 12 months – but what I’m about to present isn’t an isolated incidentIt happens time and time againI really believe it isn’t that difficult to fix the problem; not just for my own children but for all the others that don’t fit the stereotypical norm. 

I urge schools to think about the impact of specific activities on children who have suffered significant trauma in their short lives, such as losing a birth parent.  

If you know you have a child in your class who is adopted, in foster care, being looked after by a relative, in a single dad family or who have lost a parent please don't ask them to make a MotherDay card. This is clearly going to be very triggering. 

Please pre-plan an alternative activity that the child could participate in, and perhaps remove the child from the situation before you brief the task to the rest of the class. I'm not saying other kids shouldn't be doing it - of course they should. 

Not only is it triggering to be asking any child without a mum in their life to make a Mother’s Day card. It is also pretty cruel to force them to sit and watch the other twenty nine kids in the class gleefully designing cards for their wonderful mums. 

We need schools to be more informed and more aware of the impact of trauma on children. Inflicting this on a traumatised child is like picking off a scab and pouring salt on the wound 

Our child has been at the same school for seven years. I'd have thought this would have sunk in, but it seems like Groundhog Day. Its exhausting being the annoying parent complaining about this kind of thing yet again. Luckily our son is resilient enough to cope with situations like this nowIn previous years he wasn’t, and we’d have to manage weeks of upset and regression in his behaviour at home.  

But they shouldn’t have to get used to it - they’ve coped with enough already.   

Mother’s Day is the day we dread the most in our all-male household - not because us two Dads are disappointed we don’t get showered with chocolates. For our youngest child, it usually ends up being the worst day for emotional breakdown, regression and tears 

It is not too much to expect open and inclusive tasks that every child can enjoy. It is not too much to ask a school to take into account the impact of the trauma inflicted on our young people because of their early life experiences.  

Could we change the narrative so parents don’t feel like our children are nuisance that stop others enjoying activities? Could this be the catalyst to create a happiermore inclusive environment in the classroom where no child feels anxious, upset or excluded 

This is not about protecting snowflakes in a snowflake generation – this is about supporting damaged and traumatised human beings, whose pain and anguish has been inflicted on them, through no fault of their own.  

Our kids have to put on a brave face, be resilient and fight against the tide every single day. Let’s give them a bigger paddle to help them get where they need to, with a few less waves.   

Rob Langley Swain, Director of Membership Development