We’ve created this great children’s mental health bundle for parents.
Support your children’s mental health at home with these colourful, engaging resources designed to help with understanding emotion and managing anxiety.
Included in the bundle:
As adults, we’ve had lots of experience and practice understanding a wide range of emotions and most of us can identify the changes that take place in our bodies as our mood changes. But children don’t have that ability. You can support their understanding of emotions by placing an emotion wheel prominently in a communal space and asking them to find how they feel (in both good and bad moods). As children start to learn the range of feelings, they can start to recognise changes taking place in their bodies and ‘catch’ a negative emotion before it becomes overwhelming.
The emotion wheel also helps to open conversations with your child. Quieter or troubled children might like to place a blob of blutack on an emotion rather than say it aloud. As a parent, you can then support them to talk about how they feel and help them find solutions to their worries.
Anxiety Number Line
An anxiety number line helps your child to understand how they perceive problems. Print off the number line, cut it out and if possible laminate it. Pop it somewhere that’s well visited (I have one on the corner of my desk).
When you see that your child is worried or concerned ask them to voice their fears, talking about the possible outcome on a scale of one to ten, where one is no drama and ten is catastrophe. Place a counter or small character on the number then complete the task or event that was worrying your child, giving them praise for participating despite their worry.
Revisit the number line once the task or event is complete. Ask your child to reevaluate their score. Would they move their counter? Were things really as terrible as they had predicted? Most probably your child will move their counter back a few spaces.
Continue to model and use the number line over a few weeks to see your child’s perspectives on situations start to change.
Having a relaxation dice on hand can help your child find a quick and easy way to take a break away from what is making them anxious. We’ve included two here: a pre-made dice and a blank version where you can fill in your own favourite brain break activities. When your child is becoming anxious, it can help to take time away from the situation. Make a dice together with your child as a family activity and start by using it as a fun activity. When your child becomes anxious they will already see the dice as a positive activity and you can introduce it as a way to move away from anxiety.
You might also like to read our blog, Build Confidence in Your Children: How Your Children Can Thrive in Life & Learning