In this post we explore some of the useful websites, links and articles we have around us to help with our young peoples mental health. I have three children in three different education settings and have been lucky enough to be receiving some fantastic support from all of them. I thought I would collate it all here for you.
The NSPCC has a great page here on children's mental health, particularly relating to the current times.
In our house the sleep patterns have definitely been an issue. We have been trying to stick to a routing as it is a trigger for our eldests epilepsy, but with no school to get up for and playing some family games each evening it can often be hard to keep on track of bedtimes. We went up one night as we heard the boys talking late and the 16 year old was a bit upset because he said he just kept getting negative thoughts even though he was trying so hard to be positive.
In such a different time they will have so many thoughts coming at all different times and often bedtime is when they stop moving and then start processing them all.
My youngest (age 9) is really in to making comic pages right now, so liked this comic style link explaining Coronavirus and issues around it. The original link from Place2Be came through from her school. Click here to view the story.
Childline has a dedicated CalmZone visit it here and check out what is on offer. See my screenshot to the left for a couple of examples. It looks really good for the kids to do when they are bored, worried or anxious. It's a really good website for parents to check out too, for both advice on talking to the kids and also thinking of things they can do during this lockdown period.
YoungMinds has a great downloadable on things to ask your kids whilst on self isolation/lockdown. Click here to view it larger. Sometimes it can be tough to know what to say or how to start a conversation with kids, or anybody.
And lastly, I'd say this was more for the teens/ young adults to view, YoungMinds has a great page here and talks about looking after your mental heath while self isolating. It talks about how you can stay connected with people, staying calm and feeling productive.
As you've probably guessed by now, my eldest teenager has been struggling the most, and even though he understands it more, he is also less social and has less hobbies than the other two, so I am always on the lookout for ways to keep him entertained & occupied! When they go off to college it can be hard to keep them socialising. College doesn't have that same social scene that school/sixth form has. Any advice or tips on what your older teenage boys have been doing would be greatly appreciated!
I have recently came across the website BrainPOP (while searching for good education websites) and they have a great section on emotions, mental wellbeing and behaviours. It really is worth taking a look. I'll attach some of my screenshots to show the things it covers.
They are also offering free access for children while the schools are closed.
It is easy for the children to use, fun, cartoon style and has a whole host of other subjects to keep them busy.
Click here to visit their website and get started.