It is Children’s Mental Health week. This is another great initiative from Place2B and highlights, in particular, the difficulties our children are facing right now. This year, the theme is “Express Yourself”. Children can spend up to 8 hours a day at school. For many, it is the place where they do just that. Drama, music, break time on the playground and even classroom activities like creative writing all provide an outlet for them to express their dreams, desires and fears. But with school not there, it is left up to parents and caregivers to provide an outlet.
Most children will go through a phase where they might find the world around them and the ensuing emotions a little tough to handle. This can lead to anger or temper tantrums; poor sleep and a raft of other childhood emotional difficulties. For parents these phases can be equally tough. Parent and child often do not have the coping skills to manage these difficult phases. Parents often ask me if there is anything they can give their child to read that might make understanding what they are going through a little easier.
I recently saw a 10-year-old boy who was struggling with his parents’ breakup. He was living with his mother and younger brother and had regular contact with his father over Skype. On the surface he was coping quite well and school mentioned that he was showing signs of acceptance but what they had noticed were moments of anger outbursts and a drop in his academic performance.