At The Old Station Nursery Group, one of our core values is Our Children, here we always consider how the children in our care feel, respond and develop in their environments.
Maintaining Normalcy in a Changing World
In today’s rapidly changing world, especially in the face of recent challenges like lockdowns and home-schooling, children are highly perceptive to the behaviours and responses of those around them. It’s crucial to maintain a sense of normalcy despite the adaptations required, such as mask-wearing and social distancing.
With our children being so susceptible to behaviours and responses around them, it’s been very important to us that we maintain a sense of ‘normality’ for them , despite having to adapt to wearing masks, using hand sanitisers, maybe seeing less people or friends, and therefore changing everyday experiences for our little ones. In our nurseries, we have tried so hard for the children to see and experience what they would have done in life before the pandemic, and they have adapted tremendously to the changes that we have made in order to keep them, their families and our teams safe. Making sure that they feel a sense of normality means that their mental health and wellbeing is looked after, something of great importance to us as a group.
Supporting your child’s Mental Health
To support your child’s mental health, offer closeness and comfort when needed. Encourage them to express their feelings, maintain a flexible routine, and engage in daily activities together. Remember, routines don’t need to be rigid. Involve your child in planning, keeping activities fun and spontaneous
Words of Comfort
When communicating with your child, use reassuring phrases to validate their emotions. Phrases like “I’m here for you” and “It’s okay to feel this way” can offer comfort and reassurance during uncertain times.
There’s some particular language that might be helpful to help support your child. You could try using phrases such as:
- I know this is hard. I am right here with you and I hear you.
- I know this is scary. I am listening and I will help you.
- It is ok to feel scared, sad, angry and cross.
- I understand you would like some space to think.
- If you need me, I am here for you, whenever you feel ready.
Activities for Wellbeing
Engage in activities that promote mental wellbeing, such as breathing exercises, children’s yoga, mindfulness practices, and enjoying calming music or outdoor adventures. Encourage creativity through colouring and playful movement, providing moments of relaxation and joy.
Another way to support your child is by trying to do something fun together every day. Children see opportunities for fun everywhere, so this time together does not need to be meticulously planned. Be spontaneous!
There’s also some specific activities that you might want to try. These are all activities that we try to do as often as possible at nursery and will work just as well at home!
- Breathing activities to help stay calm. Breath in, hold for a second and breathe out, long and slow. Repeat. Visualise breathing into a balloon, blowing ripples across a puddle or blowing a golden thread to help elongate the breath and encourage a sense of calm.
- Children’s yoga: Cosmic kids yoga is a free resource available via YouTube.
- Be mindful: Cosmic kids zen den is great for children.
- Listen to music. Calming sounds can be found on CBeebies radio.
- Give themselves a big cuddle!
- Move spaces! Simply go to a different space within the home.
- Distract the mind with colouring books. Colour by numbers are good for an older child.
- Do some exercise. You could ride a bike, go for a walk, kick a ball or complete an online children’s class.
- Play, play and play some more!
- Get some fresh air. Look for clouds in the sky, look for nature and animal habitats.
For more activities, visit here
Self-Care for Parents
In the midst of everything else, do remember to make time for yourself; try to eat well, exercise where you can and get sleep and rest. Although this can be easier said than done, it is hugely important for both you and your child.
And just remember, you are doing a wonderful job! We see happy, energetic and enthusiastic children arrive at nursery each day; but hopefully some of the tips above will help you to remember how important mental health and wellbeing is to your child.