The impact of the pandemic on children’s mental health has been described as ‘a crisis on top of a crisis’, with children’s mental health referrals expected to surge when schools return on Monday 8th March. It is with this in mind, that parents need to start getting to grips with their children’s feelings and anxieties.
Dominic Watts, Manager of Mindful Schools Program and Holistic Tuition, at the Free Spirit Project, recommends parents should:
· Encourage curiosity about difficult thoughts and feelings, rather than trying to ‘solve them’ or make them go away.
· Show them that it is ‘OK’ not to feel ‘OK’, and learn to be open about those feelings.
· Model curiosity for your own mental and emotional world. Be honest with your own children about your own moods, thoughts and feelings.
For further tips on supporting your child’s return to school:
As children return to school, it is important to ensure that they are kept safe and that everybody, including parents, carers and staff feel supported. The NSPCC have pulled together some resources (including podcasts) to help you support children’s mental health and help young people transition back into school at this time.
If you are interested in reading an article about the impact lockdown is having on children across the country, read this fascinating article written by Charlie Duffield for ‘I’ newspaper:
Many thanks to Dominic Watts from The Free Spirit Collective for his contribution to this article.
The Free Spirit Collective provides Mindfulness & Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) for individuals and groups at their centre, on retreats and onsite for organizations. Part of their remit is to help embed Mindfulness practice into school culture and assist families to maintain alignment with Mindful values at home. They run workshops for teachers, parents or students to explore the philosophy, practice and integration of Mindfulness into their lives.
Dominic Watts is Director of the Mindful Schools Program & Holistic Tutor for the Free Spirit Collective. Dominic leads their Mindful Schools Program, through which they help the teachers, students and parents of the school community to properly embrace Mindfulness practice to benefit them personally, socially, academically and as families.
For extra resources on mindfulness and tips for parents on how to get through the pandemic: https://instagram.com/the_free_spirit_collective
Interested in home schooling? Read our Guide on How to Survive Homeschooling