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Ways to nurture Children’s Mental Health
Feeling lost, worried and unsure of what the future holds? It’s almost impossible for adults to comprehend in these unprecedented times so imagine how our youngest children are feeling.
As we are passionate about providing quality resources for children, parents, carers and practitioners which will have a positive impact on children’s wellbeing and help them to feel in control when life is so changeable and uncertain.
Children may be unable to verbalise their feelings, but may exhibit behaviours associated with worry. Creating a space for children to talk about their feelings is especially important at the current time.
Using familiar props and resources will make young children feel secure and help to normalise their big feelings and emotions. Our Superpower Superhero set was created by our in house teacher and is the most magical, amazing set of superheroes you’ll ever find. Each character has a super power to help sort anxieties and worries, a familiar face to help face fears and show children it’s ok not to feel ok. By dressing up and imitating a superhero, children can adopt a positive persona and take control over things that may be worrying them. The matching character cards also provides another resource to encourage children to talk about and discuss how they feel.
Coronavirus conversation ideas
- Find out what your child already knows, ask questions for your child’s age level. Follow your child’s lead. Some may want to spend time talking, but if they don’t, that’s OK.
- Offer reassurance and honesty. Focus on helping your child feel safe, but be truthful, don’t offer more detail than your child is interested in.
- If your child asks about something and you don’t know the answer, say so. Use the question as a chance to find out together.
- Speak calmly and reassuringly. Explain that most people who get sick feel like they have a cold or the flu.
- Give children space to share their fears. It’s natural for them to worry.
- Know when they need guidance. Be aware of how your children get news and information, especially those who go online. Point them to age appropriate sites and content.
How to help your child feel in control
- Give your child specific things to do to feel in control. Teach them that getting lots of sleep and washing their hands well and often can help them stay strong and well. Explain that regular hand washing also helps stop viruses from spreading to others. Be a good role model and let your children see you washing your hands often.
- Talk about all the things that are happening to keep people safe and healthy. They will be reassured to know that hospitals and doctors are prepared to treat people who get sick and that vaccines have been developed to stop people becoming infected and really ill. These talks can also help to manage changes to normal routines.
- Put news stories in context. If they ask, explain that serious illness and death in children from the virus is still rare, despite what they might hear. Watch the news with your children so you can filter what they hear.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought massive changes in all our lives and routines, and can be an anxious time for all. Spending time doing a positive activity with your child can help reassure them and reduce their anxiety. It’s also a great way of providing a space for them to talk through their concerns, without having a ‘big chat’. For more educational resources to help your little ones express their emotions, visit our PSHE pages.