Children’s Mental Health Week 2022: Tips To Help Kids Grow Emotionally
Five children in every classroom are thought to have diagnosable mental health conditions.
Data from the NHS found one in six children aged five to 16 were identified as having a probable mental health issue in July 2020,- a huge increase from one in nine in 2017.
Scarily, 50 percent of those with lifetime mental health problems first experience symptoms by the age of 14, according to a 2005 study.
No child or young person should have to face mental health problems on their own.
To raise awareness about this issue, Children’s Mental Health Week 2022 is focussing on exploring how to grow emotionally.
From 7-13 February, schools, youth groups and organisations across the UK will take part in Children’s Mental Health Week, using resources from their website.
Children’s Mental Health Week is encouraging children (and adults) to consider how they’ve grown, and how we can help others grow emotionally, to improve wellbeing.
Challenges and setbacks can help us to grow and adapt and trying new things can help us to move beyond our comfort zone and increase our potential. .
Tips to Help You and Your Child to Grow Emotionally
As parents we play an important role with our child’s emotional intelligence.
To help build this as they continue to grow older and develop, you could try these tips from Place2Be’s parent section:
Tell Stories of What They Were Like Years Before
Children enjoy listening to stories about what they were like when they were younger.
Try to find stores that show them how far they have come, and how much they’ve changed.
This could include milestones they achieved, like teaching them to talk, walk or ride a bike. It could even include their first school play or award.
For foster carers, adopters and caregivers, you can recall memories from when they first came to live with you.
Notice their Developments
Look through your photo albums together so they can see how much they’ve grown.
Remind them of those height charts etched into a doorway to see how tall they have got.
As you share memories, try to praise how far they have come emotionally; Do they deal with arguments better now they aren’t a toddler? Have they learnt to use words to describe how they feel?
Encourage Trying New Things
If they try a new activity, whether it’s food, clubs, crafts for example, praise their strength and determination to give new things a go.
Hopefully this praise can increase and develop their self confidence, so they grow emotionally.
Listen to Their Dreams
Every little thing they do can help or hinder their goals.
Ask them what they want to do in the future and help them take some tiny steps.
Do they want to have their own home one day?
Let them start by learning to live independently by trying some chores.
Perhaps they want to live in dorms at university, so having sleepovers at friends every now and then teaches them what it feels like to stay away from home.
Understanding that they can reach any goal by starting somewhere (no matter how small) is a great lesson.
Learning from Tough Situations
We all encounter difficult times, and for young people who are new to these experiences, it can be hard.
If they are going through something tough, such as a friendship breakdown, bullying or educational issues, hear them.
Acknowledge that they must be tricky feelings, but help them explore this and reframe to see the positives within the situation.
By going through the bad stuff, it helps you appreciate the good.
It also provides you with more strength and resilience, which helps the next time something bad happens.
Things Happening This Week for Children’s Mental Health Week
Various events and resources to help increase awareness about mental health for young people are available, including:
Celebrity Growth Stories
A series of Growth Stories featuring some familiar faces from TV, music and sport have been uploaded that you can watch with your child here.
Dress to Impress
Children’s Mental Health Week are hosting a hosting a virtual ‘Dress to Express’ Day to help raise vital funds for children’s mental health charity Place2Be.
Place2Be has joine dup with BAFTA to create two free virtual assemblies, available to schools and families.
These assemblies feature pupils and well-known faces talking about about how they are growing together.
There’s an assembly for primary school and one for secondary school aged children.
Support Available for Young People (and Parents)
This blog has a range of articles about children’s wellbeing and mental health that might also help, including:
How Do I Help My Child Look After Their Mental Health? which includes advice and resources.
Ways to help your child’s mental health through Therapeutic Play, which offers play therapy ideas you can do at home.
Symptoms of ADHD and Support for both children and adults, including advice for how to seek diagnosis.
Raising Confident Children which includes tips for raising a child’s self-esteem.
For support, training and resources, Place2Be can help.
It’s a children’s mental health charity that provides counselling and mental health support and training in UK schools.
Give Us A Shout
If you need to talk, text CONNECT to 85258, and someone from Give Us A Shout will be there to listen 24/7.
If you want to understand how your child’s feeling or find ways to support them, Young Minds have useful resources.
Online or telephone support can be accessed via Childline, 24 hours a day.
No payment was given for this post. All opinions are honest at my own.
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