This week (1 – 7 February) is Children’s Mental Health week and this year’s theme is ‘Express Yourself.’
Expressing yourself involves sharing your feelings, thoughts and ideas through creativity. There are some great ideas on how children can do this via the Children’s Mental Health Week website, which you can find here.
Understandably, children’s mental health has been severely affected during the coronavirus pandemic with them not being at school and staying at home a lot more than they usually would.
If you feel that your child is unhappy at the moment or is acting out of character, here are some tips on how you can help their mental health:
Talk and listen to them – Regularly ask them how they feel so they get used to talking about their feelings. If you find they're struggling to talk to you, encourage them to speak to a close friend or relative.
Keep them socialising – although they can’t see their friends and family at the moment, staying in touch is important. Arrange video calls with their friends so they can chat and play together.
Give them a routine – we understand this may be hard to keep if you’re working from home and home schooling, but even a loose routine will help keep children settled. Children often fear the unknown so having a routine will help them know what to expect for the week and it gives them the opportunity to feel excited about what's ahead.
Encourage their interests – if your child shows an interest in a particular activity, encourage them to explore their interest – it will help with their confidence and self-esteem.
Look after your own mental health - It’s hard to support someone when you're suffering yourself. If you are struggling there are some great resources that can help here.
If you feel that your child is struggling with mental health issues, you can find more information on how you can support them here.