Helping our children have good mental health
Never before has it been so incredibly important to be considering both our own mental health and that of our children. As we find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic, a national lockdown and remote learning, both adults and children’s mental health is being tested to its limit.
A recent WHO study reported that over half of all mental ill health starts before the age of fourteen years. Our role at Lambrook is vital in educating our pupils about their mental health and wellbeing. We teach pupils the importance of understanding their mental health, and the difference between mental and physical health.
When mentally healthy, pupils feel good about themselves, they have the ability to create and keep positive relationships, develop socially, learn new skills and think clearly. It also allows children to feel and manage the full range of human emotions. These emotions can range from delight, happiness, curiosity and excitement, through to the tougher to cope with emotions such as fear, sadness and anger. When life’s ups and downs come their way, having good mental health is a great platform to build on as children know to ask for help and to talk to others.
At Lambrook, we are keen for our pupils to understand how they feel. We aim to give them the skills to be resilient and cope when life gets difficult, but also, to be brave enough to ask for help when they can’t. Whilst your children are at home, we would encourage parents to lead by example and keep the channels of communication open. Keep talking to your children, and even more importantly, keep listening and empathise with how they might be feeling, even if you do not feel the same. Remind your children that this time will pass and highlight the positives in your day. Looking outward and thinking of others at this time, can really help too.
When things do get difficult, children need to do things they enjoy and so as parents, it is important to recognise what helps work for them to help them when the going gets tough. It might be speaking to family or friends, spending time outside, helping others, doing some exercise or just being still. As with us adults, fresh air and exercise are crucial in supporting positive mental health.
Ed Marland, Head of Pastoral
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