Hello Parents and Carers,
Today is Time to Talk Day and part of Children's Mental Health Week. Time to Talk Day is about erasing the stigma around mental health issues. Preventing the discrimination against mental health issues can save lives. Sometimes we might find it difficult to talk about how we're feeling, we don't want to be judged. We might feel like we're failing at something or that we're not good enough if we're struggling. But these feelings, which stop us from talking, are what can make mental health issues worse. Furthermore, when we begin to talk, we realise, we're not the only ones feeling like this! So today it's important to take the time to talk. Below are a range of activities that you can get involved in.
It's important to give your child opportunities to share their worries. So this activity aims at doing just that. Try to do this activity first and then you can take your child's mind off their worries with the more uplifting activities which follow. It's important not to share worries at night just before bed, although this tends to feel like a great time. Your child may then dwell on worries and have a restless night. You may also want to discuss with your child how it feels in their body when they feel worried. If your child is much younger, talk about what a worry is and draw a picture, instead of writing them down.
I'm sure your children are missing lots of people right now. This activity gives your child an opportunity to feel connected to the people they are missing. On a piece of paper can your child draw a picture of the people they are missing. If you are in reception it might just be one person. Can you write their name? If you are older you might like to create a poster, use photos or draw pictures. Can you tell me what you love about this person? Can you tell me what you will do when you see them next? It's so exciting!
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment. In this way, it helps us to relax and manage any worries or negative feelings we may have. Research shows that mindfulness profoundly alters the structure and function of the brain to improve thoughts and feelings. It produces greater blood flow to the brain and even thickens the cerebral cortex!!! (Davidson, 2008). There isn't as much research into children, understandably. However, research that has taken place shows that mindfulness and relaxation shows a significant decrease in both anxiety and ADHD behaviours in children and an increase in the ability to pay attention. So, you see, it is greatly beneficial for you and your child's mental health! I hope you enjoy the following activities:
This is one of my favourite guided relaxation videos to do with the children. There are also plenty more peace out videos if you Google.
For older children, the 'Peace Out' videos tend to be a little young. New Horizon do a range of guided relaxation videos. You may find that your child is a little giggly at first, but then as they relax into it they will settle:
I tend to listen to peace out and then finish with some relaxing music. Here is a link I often use:
You could try some of the activities on here too:
There are lots of different methods for relaxation. Use your favourite, take a moment (When you have one!) to see if there are any other methods you might like and try together as a family.
When you're feeling like everything is getting a little too much, it's really good to do things which make you feel better. Which make you feel good. Take your foot of the gas! What will help right now? You're not failing by doing this. You're helping yourself and your family get through a very difficult time. So, go for a walk, do some colouring together, get the screens out, dance to music, sing some songs.......
Finally, this is a guide for you. If there are other activities on the Wellbeing page you would like to complete, then please don't hesitate to get involved with those.
Sending lots of love and strength to you all at this tricky time.
Here's a message to watch from the Duchess of Cambridge
Here is a website with virtual lessons to how you can express yourself click here
Here are some sheets/ activities
Guidance from the new RSE document.