Living in these unusual times has been challenging for us all. In particular children’s mental health and wellbeing has been affected by COVID-19. Social separation and restrictions on activities has hit the younger generation particularly hard.
Now it’s more important than ever to do what we can to help promote children’s wellbeing.
5 ways to help with your child’s wellbeing
It’s a tricky time for grownups too. Whilst we’re making our own adjustments we’re also trying to help our kids. BBC teach have identified 5 key ways in which we can help our little people.
‘Be yourself’: Encourage children to recognise their strengths, rather than focussing on the things they can’t do.
‘Be grateful’: Focus on the things that are positive in your life and try not to compare yourself negatively against others.
‘Be mindful’: Find ways to concentrate on what’s happening in the moment. Try a mindful activity such as drawing for 10 minutes to focus on the present.
‘Be kind’: Being kind to others makes their lives better, but also has a positive impact on the person offering kindness.
‘Be resilient’: We all fail sometimes and this can be frustrating. A growth mindset allows us to develop our abilities with practice, feedback and effort.
Evidence suggests there are 5 key steps we can take to improve our wellbeing.
Connect with others: Forming good relationships with others has a hugely positive impact. It allows us to share experiences, provide and receive emotional support and build a sense of self worth.
Get active: Being active not only improves our physical fitness, but also positively affects our mental health. It’s been challenging for kids to be as active as they normally would be but there are some great ways to keep moving at home, from online fitness sessions to exercise games in the garden. Barracudas is a great environment for kids to get outside and get active in the school holidays too.
Learn new skills: Kids benefit enormously from trying new things and developing skills. It boosts confidence and self esteem. Why not explore what they can learn at home based on their own interests? Perhaps they want to learn to knit, play an instrument or take up a new sport. Barracudas has always offered children the opportunity to try new things, with over 80 activities to suit every interest kids develop new passions at camp every season.
Give to others: Research has found that giving creates a sense of purpose, creates positive feelings and helps connect with others. Think about how your child can get involved in community projects to get a real sense of reward.
Pay attention to the moment: By being more aware of our thoughts and feelings, our bodies and the world around us we can really improve our mental wellbeing. There are lots of different ways to encourage mindfulness such as focussing on particular tasks or even taking part in Yoga - children loved our new Yoga sessions at camp this year!
There are lots of ways we can help our children’s health and wellbeing in these challenging times. As we have all had to adjust to changing times there are things we can actively do to help.
There are plenty of wellbeing activities for children out there. Just find the ones that suit your child. A big step is to find ways to discuss feelings with your child. When we talk about concerns they tend to feel much smaller even before we’ve got a plan to improve any areas.
A big hurdle for kids has been the impact that social isolation due to lockdowns has had on them. We think kids have done an amazing job rolling with the punches and parents are absolute superheroes for helping them through it whilst also facing their own difficulties.
We had our biggest year at camp this year and were delighted to be able to keep so many children active, entertained and feeling positive. We're very much looking forward to another year of fun at camp in 2022!