Top Tips for Supporting Your Child's Mental Health
Dear parents and carers,
Please don't think I'm trying to teach Grandma how to suck eggs; this article could well be reaffirming that you're doing the right thing during these challenging times. I've no doubt that everyone is trying their best.
Maintaining good mental health is just as important as having a healthy body. It affects the way children think, feel and act. As a parent, you play an important role in promoting your child's mental health and recognising when there may be early signs of difficulties.
Put simply, you can do this by:
So, here are our 10 top tips on practical ways you can positively promote your child’s mental health:
Try to have make time every day for an activity where you can connect with your child without distractions that enables comfortable conversation. We all lead busy lives, but doing an activity like this together will offer your child the opportunity for them to feel secure and express how they are doing / feeling;
This is a great way to connect with your child and takes no planning! Uninterrupted quiet time provides an ideal environment for your child to focus and build their attention span. When things are overwhelming, quiet time can help your child reset their thoughts and avoid behaviour escalation to meltdowns;
Recognise their efforts as well as achievements- praise the small steps. For example, say your child has difficulty sitting quietly and calmly at the dinner table. Although desired, it would be unrealistic to initially expect them to do this for half an hour. So small steps might be praising that they achieved 5 -10 minutes. At the next meal this could be built on by reminding them of their previous achievement and setting a new goal of 15 minutes;
Self-esteem is how they feel about themselves, both inside and out. Children with good self-esteem generally have a positive outlook, accept themselves and feel confident. Fostering self-esteem includes showing love and acceptance, asking questions about their activities / interests and helping them to set realistic goals;
That’s really listening to what they are saying and how they are feeling. Often the way children feel may seem unrealistic or disproportionate to adults but remember, children do not have the wisdom of experience and they may need help and direction to make sense of situations and feelings. Try to answer your child's questions and reassure them in an age-appropriate manner. Whilst you may not be able to answer all their questions, talking things through can help them feel calmer;
Following through on commitments and routines builds trust and continuity, important relationship factors. Try to keep to as many regular routines as possible to help your child feel safe and secure. This includes having regular times for going to bed, waking up, eating meals and doing activities /hobbies;
Should the need to break a commitment or routine occur make sure there is a valid reason and take the time to explain why to your child. Remember success comes from keeping your promises to your child;
Play is a fantastic way for children to learn new things and develop problem solving skills. It also offers great opportunities for them to learn how to express their feelings;
Look after your own mental health and wellbeing. Children are intuitive and will readily pick up on feelings such as stress, anxiety, hopelessness and fear.
Teaching children about feelings can be hard as it’s an abstract concept but if they can understand and express their emotions, they will be less likely to ‘act out’. For example, you can discuss how characters in a book are feeling and the reasons why they may be feeling that way;
We hope you find these tips helpful. It is important to recognise and accept that sometimes your child may not feel comfortable talking to you. As a parent this is a tough one, but the reality is that there will be occasions where this is the case. Rather than feel resentful or unhappy, you can take positive action and help them find someone they feel comfortable talking to e.g., a grandparent, an older sibling or another positive adult role model. Above all else, if you have any concerns, no matter how minor, or are at all worried about your child’s behaviour, mental health or wellbeing please contact your GP. In the first instance they may offer a face-to-face appointment or may ask you to speak to them via phone or video call. GPs are experienced professionals trained to help and you shouldn’t worry about wasting their time.
I hope you found the article useful.
iMoves for Home Fun
I have added a number of activities onto the iMoves Home Learning Platform for you to access at your leisure. These include: pilates, disco dancing and mountain biking!
They will change again in a week's time when I will add a slightly different selection.
You can login by typing imoves.com into your address bar.
Then click onto the orange Home Login button at the top of the page.
The class ID is: 36515
I'm sure you'll have great fun!
Co-op Community Champions
As many of you are aware, St. Peter's C of E Primary School was the beneficiary of Misterton Co-op's Community Champions scheme before Christmas. I am delighted to announce that a total of £580. 54 was raised for how school. We are hoping to use the money to buy some new reading books for the school. Many thanks to everyone who helped to make this possible.
MAGICAL MATHS HOME-SCHOOL LEARNING
Magical Maths is offering virtual Maths, Science & English clubs from next week - if interested, more info is available through this link - CLICK HERE
Safeguarding Briefing from leading Safeguarding professional, Andrew Hall
16th November 2020
WhatsApp launches new disappearing messages option
During November, WhatsApp will be rolling out 'disappearing messages' functionality. The feature will allow WhatsApp users to enable disappearing messages on chat conversations between friends, to automatically delete messages after seven days. Wiping will also apply to videos and photos.
Whilst WhatsApp's minimum user age is 16, many children and young people have accounts. Auto-deleting entries could increase the risk to younger users as evidence of any issues may not be available.
I'm also aware of professionals using WhatsApp for professional purposes for various reasons, including connecting with young people directly during lock-down. I wrote about why this is a bad idea here: https://www.safeguardinginschools.co.uk/why-schools-shouldnt-use-whatsapp/
A product similar to WhatsApp for business use is Guild. Guild is GDPR-compliant and is free for up to 25 users, 1 group, 1 admin. You can find out more about Guild here: https://guild.co/
A big congratulations to Lennon & Sebe who ran 5K with their mummy during half term to raise money for Cancer Research.
You are all amazing. Well done!
HOW TO ACCESS THE LEARNING PLATFORM
Please find below the link for our home learning platform. If you paste the link, the children will be able to access their learning platform using their logins and passwords provided. If you have any difficulties please contact your class teacher by emailing school and the message will be passed on.