Wellbeing and Mental Health
We know that life can be really challenging for both children and adults and that sometimes this can affect our wellbeing and mental health. At Lawn Primary and Nursery School we firmly believe that being mentally healthy is vital for us to cope with day-to-day life and that wellbeing needs to be a high priority in order for children to be ready for learning. On this page we will be sharing ideas about how to support your own and your child's wellbeing and mental health.
What is Mental Health
We all have mental health. Mental health is about our feelings, our thinking, our emotions and our moods. Looking after our mental health is important. We all have ‘small’ feelings every day. These sometimes feel strong and overwhelming, whether happy or sad, but they go away before too long. Sometimes we experience ‘big’ feelings: These feel strong and overwhelming for a long time. They stop us doing what we want to in our lives. You could watch the video below to help think about these feelings.
How can help my child’s mental health?
1. Make conversations about mental health a normal part of life: Anywhere is a good place to talk; in the car, walking the dog or cooking together. Model everyday talk about feelings such as by talking about a book or TV character’s feelings.
2. Give your full attention: We all know it’s horrible to be half listened to. Keep eye contact, focus on the child and ignore distractions.
3. Check your body language: Try to keep it open and relaxed and make sure you come down to the child’s level.
4. Take it seriously: Don’t downplay what the child is saying or tell them they’re “just being silly”. Resist the urge to reassure them that everything is fine.
5. Ask open questions: Such as “How did your day go today?” This will help to extend the conversation.
6. Calmly stay with the feelings that arise: It can be our automatic reaction to steer away from difficult emotions.
7. Offer empathy rather than solutions: Show that you accept what they are telling you but don’t try to solve the problem.
8. Remember we are all different: Respect and value the child’s feelings, even though they may be different to yours.
9. Look for clues about feelings: Listen to the child’s words, tone of voice and body language.
10. Some ways to start a conversation about feelings might be: “How are you feeling at the moment?” “You don’t seem your usual self. Do you want to talk about it?” “I’m happy to listen if you need a chat.”