I am a mother of 3 rather "sensitive" children shall I say. Well, they screamed as babies. A lot. And, I mention this because theory and research in restorative practices (RP), connection, well-being and self-regulation have become very important to me both as a mother and a teacher.
Being "restorative" is what allows me to be a better mother; it reminds me and allows me to stay calm, which in turn helps my kids remain or return to calm. RP is not about the fear of reprisal, which Stuart Shanker (distinguished York University Professor) notes can either further hyper or hypoarouse the child. Rather, RP is about supporting and encouraging a child to think about their behaviour, the consequences, and what they need to do differently next time. This is what moves children. This is what allows children to grow without their behaviour depending on the presence of an adult. This is what allows the child to maintain dignity and a healthy sense of self. This is one of the many ways that RP connects to Shanker and self-reg and one of the many ways that RP has helped me as a mother of 3.
Being "restorative" has also helped me become a better teacher. For the last decade, I have been a trainer in restorative practices alongside working in my school board's suspension/expulsion school, as a student success teacher, and as a high school english teacher. My MEd. allowed me to rewrite the training in RP moving it away from a restorative justice approach only to a mindset and way of being that is particular to education. I continue this journey becoming a Phd candidate with intent to measure RP in action.
Ultimately, I am a person who believes- wholeheartedly- that it is our way of being as adults that ultimately affects the children and students we work with. This drives who I am as a mother and a teacher.