Day to day
Our everyday habits are important to our mental health, just as they are to our physical health. Here are a few suggestions to help your child develop good habits.
Think about the five ways to wellbeing
Are there things you can encourage them to do, or do together, each day? Please see here for more information about the five ways to wellbeing.
Talk openly about mental health
Just as you might encourage them to eat fruit and veg to keep their bodies healthy (and model this behaviour yourself), talk openly about, for example, staying connected with others or being physically active in order to take care of our minds.
Model good habits
Children often learn from copying what they see around them. If you are taking care of your own mental health, it’s easier for them to see what good habits look like.
Think about phone usage – both theirs and yours
We don’t fully understand the impact of social media on our mental health but using phones and laptops can impact on our sleep, which is important to our mental health.
We’re also more likely to listen to one another if we’re not distracted by technology.
Notice any changes in your child’s behaviour
Young people tell us how they’re feeling in many ways, not always verbally.
Learning what is normal for your child makes it easier to notice when things change, and if this might be a sign that they’re struggling.
When times get tough
Sometimes you might worry about your child’s mental health. While you might need to speak to a member of the Inclusion Team or your GP for advice, here are a few things you can do if you’re worried.
Let your child know that you’re concerned
Explain why you feel that way, for example if you’ve noticed they haven’t been interested in activities they usually enjoy.
Use activities that you do together to have conversations about how they are doing
Talking whilst doing something together, side-by-side, such as cooking, can help them share their feelings more easily than a face-to-face conversation.
Let them know that struggling sometimes is normal and nothing to be ashamed of
Tell them about the mental health spectrum and that we all, including you, go up and down the scale throughout our lives. Reassure them that talking about difficult feelings with the people we trust is a brave thing to do.
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