Little Routines, Gillian Stewart

Children’s Mental Health Week - 1st-7th February 2021
Gillian Stewart, Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Children’s mental health is more important now than it has ever been. 

Lockdown and the constant worry of the Covid 19 pandemic has meant that life for families and their children has been, and still is, extremely difficult.
Spending long days at home and the lack of contact with friends and family is having serious affects on our mental well-being.

It can be all too easy to forget that some children are struggling mentally. According to the children's mental health charity Place2Be, one in six school aged children in the UK has a diagnosable mental disorder. This is a worrying number, that is on the increase.

Effective support can help children cope through the challenges that life brings. Children need positive parenting with positive messages. They need to feel good about themselves. 

Information, help and support can be found on the Children's Mental Health Week website.

The theme for this years mental health week is Expressing Yourself. Children can find expressing themselves and in particular expressing their feelings, very difficult.
Talking, sharing ideas and feelings are all extremely important. Children can learn how to do this through creativity - music, dance, imaginary play and much more.

Routine is still so important. Children thrive on a positive consistent routine. Knowing what each day brings, what to expect and what is expected of them helps them to understand that the world around them is a safe place.
Eating and sleeping well is another very important factor. Children need to feel refreshed and rested to tackle the busy days. Every day is a school day for children.

Daily time spent outdoors, regardless of the weather, is a wonderful release for children. Running around, jumping in puddles, throwing and kicking a ball, climbing and going on nature hunts are all such fun.

Setting little challenges for children - learning to scoot, ride a bike, putting their shoes on, cleaning their own teeth. These are all ways for children to feel good about themselves.

Creative activities include cooking, art work and gardening. You don’t need to have large areas to bake or paint and gardening can be done in pots. Just lay out a plastic sheet and be prepared to clear up the mess afterwards. It is all part of it!

If children can feel good about themselves it will give them confidence and confidence builds self-esteem.

Take care of yourselves too.