Promoting Positive Mental Health
Mental Health and Well-being
Your child’s mental health is just as important to us as their physical health.
Here are some of our top tips for you and your child.
Children thrive if they are part of a happy family where there are close relationships, care and love.
Take time to talk, play and connect with your child every day. This will help to build positive mental health and well-being. This can be hard during times of hardship, family breakdown, trauma or when your own mental health is vulnerable. Please remember that you are never alone, and everyone finds it difficult to cope sometimes. When you join Green Oaks you become part of our family and we will always do our best to help and find the support that you might need to look after your own and your child’s mental health.
Time to Talk
It is really important to make time to talk to your child and listen to what they have to say.
This builds social communication skills and helps your child to build positive, connected relationships. The best talk comes from a genuine interest in your child’s day and everyday conversations. Top times to talk are when playing, walking to and from school, mealtimes, bath and bedtimes.
Try to remember that it is normal for your child to feel sad, cross, angry or anxious sometimes. Listen to what they have to say but try not to ask open rather than leading questions or make your own suggestions as to what is causing these emotions. This can build anxieties rather than reduce them and create problems rather than solve them.
Examples of questions that you could try are:
- Tell me about what happened?
- How did you feel?
- How are you feeling now?
- Who could you talk to?
- What could you do to make this better?
The Power of Play
Being active not only helps physical health but also boosts mental health and well-being as well.
Try to find time to get outside and run, climb and just have fun. Your child will only be this age for a small period of time so enjoy it as much as you can!
Sleep and Diet
Even as your child gets older he or she still needs a good 10 – 12 hours of sleep a night.
To help your child get a good nights sleep it is important to retain the same good bedtime routines that they had when they were younger. This means giving them time to relax and wind down at the end of a busy day, and the opportunity to share a story with you, have a snuggle or maybe just a quiet chat. Try not to let your child’s bedtime routine involve watching television, Youtube or going on the I-Pad as all of these can stop your child relaxing and having a good night’s sleep.
Having a healthy, balanced diet also helps your child to be alert at school and be able to cope with the ups and downs of school life. If you have difficulty with your child’s diet or sleep, please talk to us as we will be able to find someone to help.
Electronic gaming and screen time
Our children live in a world where they have access to many electronic games and systems.
Unfortunately what starts off as fun can very easily become addictive; or your child can be pulled into playing games that are unsuitable or not age appropriate.
Please make sure that you only allow your child to play age appropriate games and that you observe safe internet practice. It is also advisable to restrict screen time and gaming and be vigilant to whether your child shows signs of early addictive behaviour.
Social Media and Social Messaging
It is highly recommended that you do not allow your child to have a mobile phone that gives access to Social Media or Social Messaging.
Primary age children do not have the maturity to understand the implications of using these media and what can start off as an innocent chat group amongst friends can soon become a source of upset. It is also important to remember that your child’s details can be passed on through these systems and that the information that your child posts when they are 10 will be there for others to pass on or use when they are older. Our advice is to hold off any type of Social Media until they have the necessary maturity and understanding to use this appropriately – maybe even waiting until they are an adult!
It is also worth remembering that your child will be starting to be more aware of your own engagement with social media. Make sure that you model how to communicate kindly and with respect as this will be their model for when they are older.
If you have any concerns about your child’s emotional and mental health and well-being always come in and chat. We will always do our best to give you and your child the support you need.