In our Family, we recognise our Public Front Stage and our Private Back Stage
- Introduce the metaphor of a theatre to help your children understand that we each have a more public front stage and a more private back stage. Some children may prefer to spend more time in their back stage, or keep things that really matter to them in their private back stage; that is okay. But explore with your children when it is important to put things on our front stage for people to see. Perhaps our skills in a performance, sharing our opinion in a family conversation or telling a teacher that something is confusing.
- Explore how we might we might put on a performance, or wear a mask on our social front stage which might prevent the audience from seeing what is really going on our private back stage. For example: we might see someone as rude, but they may be feeling shy; we might see someone as aggressive, but they may be feeling frightened or embarrassed. Explore why people might wear masks. What masks might we wear on our public front stage? What are the danger of wearing a mask or not showing what is really going on in our back stage?
- Notice when your children are spending an unhealthy amount of time in their private back stage. Recognise their privacy, whilst also showing that you are interested in what they are doing. For example: if your child spends a long time in their room, knock on their door to offer them a drink and snack. Try a conversation starter such as “That looks like an interesting book… Is that a new game?” Follow up with a question or comment which invites them to share more with you.
- It can be difficult to get to know our children, especially if we have a big family, or have little time together. We may not see into their private back stage very often. Are there opportunities to spend 1-1 time with each child? Going out for tea? Going for a walk? Watching a programme you both enjoy together? Going on a day trip?