Mental Health Awareness Week

Written on 9th May, 2022

Mental health awareness week is an annual event hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and encourages us to focus on keeping our minds healthy and happy. The event takes place between 9th to 15th May 2022.

Worried your child may be struggling with Mental health?

The Mental Health Foundation reports that 1 in 6 children suffer from Mental Health symptoms which can manifest as depression, anxiety or conduct disorders. If you are concerned that your child may be having difficulties, here are some simple steps to take:

  • Contact your GP
  • Speak to your child’s school
  • Contact local charities
  • Try and maintain your normal routine
  • Encourage healthy eating, exercise and good sleeping habits
  • Listen to your child when they want to speak
  • Look after yourself so that you can be there for your child
  • Involve your child in day to day decision making

If it is an emergency contact you or your child can contact Childline – 0800 1111, 111 or 999.

We all have to make mistakes to learn. Making mistakes is not always easy for your child (or us as parents!) and can leave us with a range of emotions, such as anxiety, sadness, frustration and a sense of failure.  As a parent, there is no greater gift you can give your child than letting them make mistakes and guiding them through them.  Follow Role Models and join in on their #embracemistakes campaign in partnership with @52.lives you can find out more here.

Simply put – Mistakes are the best teachers!

Mistakes:

  • Allow your child to find solutions.
  • Encourage them to never give up (making mistakes helps them build up resilience).
  • Teaches them to try and solve the problem in a different way which can increase creativity.
  • Allows your child to LEARN.

How to help your child when they make a mistake:

  • A hug can go a long way to comfort your child if they are frustrated.
  • Acknowledge their feelings if they are disappointed.
  • Let them know that they can always ask for help.
  • Take a break with them and allow them to gather their thoughts.
  • Use encouraging/positive words – for eg. if your child is trying to play a sequence on the piano incorrectly you could say “That sounds really interesting! Shall we try that again and look at the sheet of music now and play it again and see if it sounds the same?”
  • Focus on the positive outcomes of the mistake- for eg. If your child has been asked to colour in a picture of an animal (let’s say a whale and they have chosen the colour (pink)), instead of saying “whales are not pink”, you could say “what a special pink little whale that is! Do you remember what colour the whale in the aquarium/in the movie/in the book was?”
  • Normalise mistakes: let them know that you don’t expect them to be perfect or to never make mistakes and that making mistakes is a great way to learn and is completely normal.
  • Praise your child if they admit or acknowledge their mistake.
  • Help them to find the solution instead of rushing to the rescue.
  • Let them see you making mistakes or talk to them about some mistakes you have made and how much you have learnt from them.
  • Talk to your child about the mistake but try not to focus on the actual mistake, instead use words of encouragement to acknowledge what they have achieved so far.
  • Focus on the current mistake and try to avoid bringing up past mistakes.
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