Children's Emotional Wealth
Emotional Wealth for Children Download
As parents we have a duty of care to not only support our children physically, but emotionally too. I used to think I was the perfect parent, before I had children !
Covid 19 has thrown us all into turmoil, and as our children prepare to return to school now is a vital time to prepare them and ourselves emotionally.
This guide has been written with psychological theories in mind and the basis of human emotions and brain functioning. It specifically looks at some areas for concern, separation anxiety, feelings and emotions, combined with ideas to support children and also activities to aid better discussions and thinking around emotional wealth.
Supporting your child's Emotional Wealth
Encourage them to talk about their feelings and emotions and create a safe environment for this.
Normalise emotions and encourage acceptance. You could teach your child about the fight/flight/freeze response. Avoid judgement or criticism. Explain that we all feel emotions like anger and sadness from time to time.
With regards to books and films, use open ended questions to talk about feelings and emotions presented.
Notice and label what your child is feeling (e.g. ‘it seems to me that you are upset. Would you like to talk about it?’… ‘you look worried’)
Encourage them to complete a mood diary so they can spot patterns and make links with their daily activities e.g. on the days they are reporting as being happier, explore why that might be- what happens on those days and how that can be explored on other days.
Model expressing your emotions in a healthy way (e.g. ‘I feel sad today because I didn’t get picked for a special job at work, but it is okay to feel sad and I will feel better soon. I’m going to do some gardening because that always helps me to feel better’).
Explore alternatives to talking to express feelings e.g. drawing, journaling, creating animations, making music or sporting activities.
Encourage your child to think of ways to handle their emotions e.g. ‘I know you’re upset that your brother has gone out with his friends. What can we do to make you feel better?’
Get support from others if you think it is appropriate. Starting points might be talking to staff at school the school nurse or your GP.
Create a wellbeing toolkit with your child. Decorate a shoe box together and gather items to put in it that will help your child to feel better or act as a distraction e.g. a stress ball, bubbles, a puzzle, colouring book and crayons, copy of favourite song lyrics etc. Encourage your child to use their toolkit when they are experiencing uncomfortable emotions.
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