The week beginning 7th February is Children’s Mental Health Awareness week! On social media, you may have seen Citywise posting top tips that help our children’s mental health. The next few blog posts will not only be expanding on those tips, but also sharing activities that families can do at home to be aware of their mental health.
Tip #3: ‘Encourage children to share their worries and concerns’
Children are more likely to open up more about their thoughts and feelings in a safe environment. By creating safe and nurturing spaces for children to talk, you’ll be reminding them that discussing their feelings is a valid and valuable coping mechanism, and a hugely important one when it comes to supporting their mental health.
Discussing a child’s thoughts and feelings is a great step towards helping them to recognise the signs of poor mental health and how they can be improved.
The Change Cloud activity aims to encourage discussion when children are experiencing a change in their lives. This activity is also great for talking through thoughts and fears.
Let’s make a Change Cloud!
All you and your child have to do is draw a cloud. You can make this cloud look like how you feel right now. If there is a change happening, you can make this cloud represent how you’re feeling about that change.
Discuss with your child about how you might be feeling. If you’re open and honest with them, then this will lead to them being more open with you. Explain that some clouds pass quickly and some stay for a long time. Some clouds bring changes that we can manage easily and some clouds bring changes that are really hard and we wish they would go away, but they stay for a longer time. However, at the end of the day, all clouds will pass.
Here are some questions that might be helpful to ask:
- Does this emotion or change feel big or little?
- Has it been around for a while or did it start recently?
- What things have changed?
- How do you feel about these changes?
Children benefit greatly from being able to understand, identify, manage and express their thoughts and feelings. This is why Citywise is encouraging you to check out the previous tips, as well as this one, and incorporate them into your child’s life. Here are tips 1 and 2 for you to try!
Let us know how you got on with engaging and encouraging discussions to do with emotions and thoughts. Tag us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using @CitywiseUK. We would love to see how you have engaged in any of the tips during Children’s Mental Health week.