If you have any concerns in regards to the mental health or well-being of anyone in your home, please contact a member of staff via Class Dojo or alternatively send an email to the School Office account (email@example.com) requesting one of our learning mentors or Mr O'Byrne contact you.
We have a therapist, Thrive practitioner and several members of staff trained in Mental Health first aid who will be able to support and signpost where appropriate.
Here are 10 top tips on practical ways you can positively promote your child’s mental health:
Try to have make time every day for an activity where you can connect with your child without distractions that enables comfortable conversation. We all lead busy lives, but doing an activity like this together will offer your child the opportunity for them to feel secure and express how they are doing / feeling.
This is a great way to connect with your child and takes no planning! Uninterrupted quiet time provides an ideal environment for your child to focus and build their attention span. When things are overwhelming, quiet time can help your child reset their thoughts and avoid behaviour escalation to meltdowns.
Recognise their efforts as well as achievements- praise the small steps. For example, say your child has difficulty sitting quietly and calmly at the dinner table. Although desired, it would be unrealistic to initially expect them to do this for half an hour. So small steps might be praising that they achieved 5 -10 minutes. At the next meal this could be built on by reminding them of their previous achievement and setting a new goal of 15 minutes.
Self-esteem is how they feel about themselves, both inside and out. Children with good self-esteem generally have a positive outlook, accept themselves and feel confident. Fostering self-esteem includes showing love and acceptance, asking questions about their activities / interests and helping them to set realistic goals.
That’s really listening to what they are saying and how they are feeling. Often the way children feel may seem unrealistic or disproportionate to adults but remember, children do not have the wisdom of experience and they may need help and direction to make sense of situations and feelings. Try to answer your child's questions and reassure them in an age-appropriate manner. Whilst you may not be able to answer all their questions, talking things through can help them feel calmer.
Following through on commitments and routines builds trust and continuity, important relationship factors. Try to keep to as many regular routines as possible to help your child feel safe and secure. This includes having regular times for going to bed, waking up, eating meals and doing activities /hobbies.
Should the need to break a commitment or routine occur make sure there is a valid reason and take the time to explain why to your child. Remember success comes from keeping your promises to your child.
Play is a fantastic way for children to learn new things and develop problem solving skills. It also offers great opportunities for them to learn how to express their feelings.
Look after your own mental health and wellbeing. Children are intuitive and will readily pick up on feelings such as stress, anxiety, hopelessness and fear.
Teaching children about feelings can be hard as it’s an abstract concept but if they can understand and express their emotions, they will be less likely to ‘act out’. For example, you can discuss how characters in a book are feeling and the reasons why they may be feeling that way.