This is a pretty powerful quote and so relevant to children’s mental health and emotional well-being. The wonderful thing is that there are so many things we can do to help give our children the foundations to help them to grow up into strong, confident, resilient and happy adults.
- We can help our children to learn the names of different emotions so that they can learn to express themselves through words.
- We can talk openly with our children about emotions so that they know they can talk about theirs too, and know that emotions aren’t bad things that need to be suppressed. Instead they can learn that it is how we respond to them that is important.
- We can let children know that their feelings are important, even when it seems as though they are getting upset about something that might seem small, as it probably isn’t a small thing to them.
- We can teach our children about growth mindset so that they know that traits such as their abilities and intelligence are not fixed, but can grow and develop when we put the effort in and work hard at things.
- We can model behaviour by saying ‘sorry’ when we get it wrong, and we can talk with them openly about how we might try and manage our own feelings sometimes (‘I’m sorry I yelled at you. Next time I’m going to stop, take some deep breaths, and calm down before I speak’).
- We can help children to understand that how they think about something can affect how they feel, and subsequently how they react to a situation, and how ‘helpful’ thoughts can lead to more positive feelings and responses.
- Communicating positive messages to our children regularly (e.g. ‘I’m so glad you came into the world’) can do so much to help little ones feel loved and secure. We can lean down to our children, or pick them up, so that they can hug our hearts, and not our knees.
I could go on… And indeed I did go on in the way of writing the activity book that comes in the Little Wise Box of Emotions for 3-6 year olds and the Reframing Your Thoughts Toolkit for 6-12 year olds. With these products I wanted to put something together that is packed with tools, ideas and insight into different things we can do to help lay the foundations and support our little ones social and emotional intelligence. I hope that some of the ideas mentioned above offer some food for thought. A small thing every day can make such a big difference to a child for the rest of their life…
Wishing you all a happy Mental Health Awareness Week ❤️