Children’s Mental Health Week 2023
6 - 12 February 2023 is Children’s Mental Health Week.
This year’s theme is Let’s Connect.
6 things you can do to connect with your child and help them make meaningful connections.
1. Connect with your child in everyday ways
- Try to give them your full attention and see if this helps you feel better connected as you hug, talk, smile and hear about their day.
- Watching your child play and joining in is really important to them – so have a bit of fun and join in– being playful is good for adults, too!
- With older children, you may find times such as car journeys a good time to talk, or to re-connect by playing music you both like.
2. Talk to your child about important connections
Talk about family members, neighbours and people in the local community. It’s ok to talk about people they miss.
3. Talk to your child about their friends
As children become teenagers, their friendship groups become increasingly important to them. Be open to hearing about their friendships and try to listen without judgement.
4. Connect by taking an interest in your child’s world
Taking an interest in things your children and teenagers are interested in e.g. music, fashion, and what they watch, may help you feel better connected to your child and the important things in their world. This can lead to other conversations about other things in their lives that matter to them.
5. Find time to connect as a family
Family life can become busy and stressful, so it’s important to find some time where you connect together. This could include simple things like cooking, watching a film, playing a game, going to the park.
6. Try to resolve conflict and re-connect after arguments
It is important that children learn how to disagree appropriately, say sorry and make amends when they have done something wrong. They will learn a lot about how to do these things from you - so try to model the behaviour you want to see in your children.
Let your child know that if they are worried about something, they should always talk to an adult they trust. It could be you, someone in your family, a teacher or someone else in their school. If you’re worried about your child’s mental health you can talk to your GP or someone at your child’s school.