This week marks Children’s Mental Health Week 2023. Running from 6th to 12th February, this vital awareness campaign is run by Place2Be and shines a spotlight on the importance of young people’s mental health.
Here in the Banana Moon family, we take mental well-being extremely seriously. Our Well-being Pledge promises to support all children, parents and team members alike, and we’re always seeking new ways to promote and support the healthy mental well-being of all.
So, ahead of this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week, we’ve put together our top tips for championing your little one’s mental well-being – as well as your own.
Top tips for supporting your child’s mental well-being
Build meaningful connections
The theme for his year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is ‘Let’s Connect’, encouraging children, parents and carers to connect in healthy and meaningful ways. Place2Be say:
“When we have healthy connections – to family, friends and others – this can support our mental health and our sense of well-being. And when our need for rewarding social connections is not met, we can sometimes feel isolated and lonely – which can have a negative impact on our mental health.”
Children thrive from a base of loving and secure relationships, so it’s important to find time to ‘check in’ with them while you’re doing things together, so they get used to talking about their feelings.
Building connections is vital, but how your children interact with their own mind is also important.
Another way of supporting your child’s sense of well-being is positive affirmations. Praise, encouragement or compliments are a great way to remind children of their value and can help boost their self-esteem. They also teach them about love and acceptance and help strengthen their own inner voice – combating negative thoughts and insecurities. We’ve included some lovely examples at the end of the blog.
Stick to a routine
Providing routines that support a sense of calm, belonging and security so children can predict what is happening next. In our settings, we reflect the home routines of young children to support the relationship from home/nursery. We will use visual aids, props and prompts to support children in recognising the nursery routine.
Promote all types of well-being
Our physical health is strongly linked to mental well-being, so it’s important to teach your little ones about the importance of keeping moving and healthy eating habits.
In our nurseries, we carefully plan weaning programmes with parents and talk to older children about making healthy choices and introduce them to a variety of new foods. What’s more, we also teach children about why and how we should look after our teeth.
Be a well-being role model
Strong, warm and positive relationships with adults will allow children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. As a parent, it’s therefore important to show how you cope with difficult feelings and – as with the tip above – how you look after your physical and mental health.
It’s important to offer opportunities for children to work through challenges or difficulties and succeed with what is hard so that children learn to adapt, solve problems and keep trying. At nursery, children are encouraged and supported to try things they haven’t tried before, and they are encouraged to persevere and are given strategies that support confidence and resilience.
Spot the signs of mental health problems
According to Place2Be, one in six children and young people have a diagnosable mental health problem, and many continue to have these problems into adulthood. It’s therefore important to be aware of the signs of poor mental well-being. Here are some resources that can help:
At Banana Moon, quality of care is our priority. Our early years professionals undertake training to support the well-being and holistic health of children. We have an open-door policy for parents to discuss and share any queries, concerns or requests for help. Our well-being champions can also signpost you to any support.
Seeing everything from a parent’s point of view
We started life in 2006 with a strong ethos of always putting the children first. Despite our growth over the past two decades, we proudly remain a family business at our core.
Our well-qualified and experienced team endeavour to see everything from a parent’s point of view. After all, choosing a nursery is one of the most important decisions parents face, which is why the reassurance they feel when leaving their children in our hands is of utmost importance to us.
We recognise that you’re the expert of your child as first educators, and we are here to collaborate and support you, your family and your little ones at every stage of their developmental journey.
Franchise with us
Are you interested in starting your own nursery and looking for a franchise that’s committed to the mental well-being of the children, parents and team members?
At Banana Moon, we promote a workplace culture and environment that is inclusive, supportive and encourages early years professionals to grow and develop. We walk hand-in-hand with our children towards becoming the best version of ourselves.
Operating a Banana Moon Day Nursery franchise is rewarding on so many different levels. We’re a family business and create an environment that is caring, kind and accepting. We also offer a proven business model within a large and rapidly expanding industry sector.
If you’re interested in franchising with Banana Moon Day Nursery, click here to find out more: https://www.bananamoonfranchise.com/.
Example positive affirmations
For children to repeat:
- I am grateful for who I am.
- Today, I will try my best.
- I am thankful for _____.
- I am capable of doing great things.
- I have special talents that are unique to me.
- I am kind and will always help my friends.
- I have people who love and respect me.
- I am excited to learn new things.
- I am brave and will try new things even though it might not work out.
- It’s OK if I make mistakes.
- I am creative and write fun stories/paint beautiful pictures.
- I will remember to be kind if someone is having a tough day.
- I am a good big/little brother/sister.
- I am funny and like making people laugh.
- I am helpful when my parents ask me to help.
- I will speak to someone if I have a problem or feel unhappy.
Affirmations for parents to say to children:
- You make me so proud.
- I love watching you try new things.
- I love watching you grow.
- You are smart.
- You are kind.
- You are safe.
- I knew you could do it.
- I am here for you.
- I love you.