8-14th February is Children’s Mental Health Week, which is run by the charity Place2Be.
It’s a charity that is very close to my heart, especially as it was working as a volunteer in-school counsellor with them for over 2 years that started my specialism in in-school counselling.
This year, the theme for the week is “Building Resilience”, which means being able to cope with the events that life throws our way.
For primary school children, these challenges can include break up of the family, death of a friend or family member, bullying, neglect or stress at home, anxiety, feeling that they don’t fit in, and many other issues.
Resilience is something that we learn, so that’s why it is so important to help children at the earliest stage possible.Here are 8 ways to help children build resilience, with downloadable PDFs for children, parents and teachers. Click To Tweet
- Ask yourself “How am I feeling today?” and then tell someone! It can be your friend, an adult or even your pet – but it’s great to talk about how you’re feeling.
- Help someone else: Sometimes it feels really good to help other people. Why not ask the person who sits next to you in class how they are feeling today? If they have a problem – see if you can find a solution together or ask an adult for help.
- Have a break! Spend a little bit of time doing something that you enjoy – it could be playing music, doing artwork, reading, playing football, or just having some quiet time alone in your bedroom.
- Talk to an Adult you trust: Always remember, if you’re really worried about something, you can find an adult who you trust to talk to – it could be someone in your family, a teacher, or someone else in school. It can be helpful to think of all the adults you know who you might be able to ask for help.
For Parent / Teachers
- Be an emotional role model by looking for opportunities to demonstrate healthy ways of coping with emotions that we may struggle with, such as frustration. Try to be calm and consistent. We know this isn’t always easy! Talk to the children about your feelings and healthy ways of dealing with them.
- Allow children “Down Time”: Where possible, try to introduce “down time” or “brain breaks” with the children to help them retain some balance. For parents, this could be a great opportunity to enjoy some time listening and playing with your child.
- Let children learn from their own mistakes (with support): Giving them age-appropriate freedoms will help them learn their own limits, and show you trust them to make appropriate decisions.
- Get advice: If you start to notice changes in a child’s behaviour, for example, becoming withdrawn, distracted or anxious, then speak to someone at your school.
Downloadable PDFs from Place2Be
As part of Children’s Mental Health week 2016, the charity Place2Be has put these tips into PDF format, tailored to children, parents and teachers.
Was this useful? If so, please share: