Every Family Matters – supporting your child’s mental wellbeing
Being a parent or carer can be hard at the best of times, but given the current situation, you're probably feeling more overwhelmed than usual and might be unsure of how best to support your child. However, we're here to help.
We've been working with partners to make sure you have the information you need, so that you can make the right decisions for you and your family. We'll be sharing information here across a range of subjects, including social distancing and keeping your child safe online.
This week, we're starting with how you can best support your child's mental health and wellbeing.
You might have noticed a difference in your child’s behaviour due to the current situation; they may no longer be at school, out of their normal routine and missing their friends. This may be impacting their overall emotional wellbeing, which is completely normal.
Start by having a conversation with your child. By helping them to express how they're feeling, you’re taking the first step to being able to manage these feelings effectively together. Make sure this is a continuous conversation and that you regularly take time to check in with them.
As a parent or carer, it might feel like you’re supposed to have all the answers, but we’re living through an unprecedented time and it’s completely normal not to know what’s going to happen next. Do your best to reassure your child and let them know that you are there to listen and that they have the space to share.
Try to think creatively about things you can do together to help them to open up. This might be playing together, cooking or gardening. Positive activities will also help to take their mind off what's happening and may ease their anxiety.
If they would feel more comfortable speaking to someone they don’t know, we commission a safe and anonymous online counselling service – Kooth – which is supported by trained counsellors and provides a secure space where they can get advice and support.
We know there is a lot going on right now, but remember, you're not alone and if you need help, visit Livewell for more links to advice and guidance. You can also follow our Twitter and Facebook pages where we will regularly be sharing information to help you help your child.