How to support your child’s wellbeing with mindfulness
This article was produced by Smiling Mind.
The change and uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has impacted many of us, younger people in Australia included. And although children tend to adapt well to change, throughout this challenging time it’s worth paying extra attention to your child’s mental health and wellbeing.
Building resilience and boosting wellbeing
The current pressures families are facing can be tough on everyone, and while most children tend to be fairly resilient, many parents and teachers are actively looking for tools to support the mental health of children during these unprecedented times.
Smiling Mind’s Digital Care Packs use evidence-based mindfulness and wellbeing activities to help children aged 5-12 learn skills and tools to manage change, stress, and pressure in their life. Throughout the pandemic they may have been struggling with spending less time with their friends, school disruption, and additional pressures on the adults that care for them. The Care Packs can help children build resilience and wellbeing throughout the pandemic and beyond.
Each pack contains fun activities parents can do with their children to help strengthen a sense of connection during this tricky time. There are self-care resources for parents and carers, to help them look after themselves too.
Emotions influence our behaviour, and this is particularly the case in children and adolescents. Studies show that mindfulness practice in young people improves self-awareness and the ability to regulate emotions. Mindfulness trains non-judgmental awareness of emotions, which enables children to better understand and manage their emotions.
Scientific research suggests that giving kids proactive tools and skills to build their wellbeing early in life can set them up to better manage challenges throughout their adolescence and adult lives. So taking some time to build wellbeing can benefit your children now, as well as in the future.
Tips for making mindfulness work for your family
- Ask your child how they feel about the changes that might be happening in their lives. Make it a normal part of every day. Change can affect each child differently, so listen with an open mind and be ready to offer them support.
- Understanding what children have heard and what they are fearing or thinking about, and what questions they may have, is a good place to start. If we respond without understanding what is on their mind, we might inadvertently make things worse, point out issues that are too challenging for them to understand, or raise concerns they might not yet have even considered.
- Don’t wait until children start to show signs of stress. Boost their wellbeing through everyday activities, such as those found in the digital care packs.
- If you’re worried about your child’s physical or mental health, contact your family GP for professional assessment and ongoing support.