This week (1st-7th Feb) is children’s mental health week. During what has been an unsettling and unusual year, the wellbeing and mental health of our children is on everyone’s minds. With school being closed, increased screen time becoming a necessity, being unable to see relatives and friends, we are left wondering what long term impact this is going to have on the children.
As resilient and adaptable as children can be, it is worth looking at ways we can help children express themselves and their feelings. Learning ways to talk about and understand how you are feeling is a valuable life skill that many adults (including myself!) often struggle with.
This year’s theme for children’s mental health week is ‘Express yourself’ and you can find out more about it here, including free resources to further explore with your child.
Other useful links;
At BRAC we have found different methods work for different children, so here is a list of some of the ways which could encourage children to open up and talk about their feelings that you might like to try at home.
- Using emoji’s or pictures of faces with different emotions as a talking point to discuss different feelings.
- Be sure not to punish your child for expressing emotion and make sure to praise them when they tell you how they are feeling.
- Help them to identify what they are feeling and give a name to the emotion.
- Discuss how you are feeling, normalise feelings and emotions and talk about how you as a parent deal with intense emotions.
- Give them tools to help deal with intense emotions, such as; deep breaths and counting to 5, or taking yourself away from a situation e.g giving yourself ‘time out’ in own bedroom.
- Feelings Book/ Diary
- Paper plate faces – decorated paper plates, happy face on one side sad face on the other.
- Emotion wall – emotion faces stuck on wall or fridge, child could them move a marker or magnet to how they think they are feeling every day.
Thanks for reading our 2nd post for our new BRAC Blog! Stay tuned for details of a competition where will be asking the children to express themselves through drawing!