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The Voice Inside

19th Feb 2021

The emotional wellbeing of our children has been front and centre of reports and articles of late. Balancing their needs against a backdrop of home schooling, remote working, cold weather and parental stress has led to an increase in reports of children struggling. An increase in digital device use has led to an increase in online bullying and exposed a vulnerability in our children that highlights how important it is to provide them with the skills to access self-care for themselves.

A lot has been discussed recently around the value of self-care for adults but do our children know what self-care looks like? Would they know how to take time out for themselves or what self-care looks like for them as individuals?

We spend a lot of time encouraging our children to be kind to one another but how often do we encourage them to be kind to themselves? When we think of all the voices they hear every day, actually the one they hear the most is their own. So surely when we are encouraging kindness, we should be ensuring we are encouraging them to speak kindly to themselves too.

Below are some various ways in which we can encourage our children to be kind to themselves and take some time out for their own self-care.

  1. Chat to them. When did you last sit down and ask your children how they are doing, how they are feeling and what they think is happening in the world right now? Often little ears can collect a lot of misinformation which can cause anxiety. There are some big conversations taking place all around them right now with some scary words being used. Spending a bit of time asking them how they feel about it all can sometimes help to break down some of those barriers.
  2. Write it down. Journalling can be a great tool for a child who finds it difficult to express their emotions verbally. There are many options available if they require a bit of structure to guide them. Alternatively, something like our BulliesOut Gratitude Journal may help too.
  3. Sometimes simply adding a bit of routine to their day can add so much value. A timetable or even simply getting up, getting dressed and going to bed at the same time every day can make a huge difference.
  4. Work on the voice within. Pay them compliments that aren’t about appearance. Show them how valued and special they are. Encourage them to use positive affirmations daily. Believe In You, our Positive Affirmation Cards have been specially designed to be used daily and can be found on our website.
  5. Get them outdoors for some fresh air. It can be hard during cold grey days to muster enthusiasm. Download scavenger hunts or treasure trails to make walks a bit more fun. Exercise outside can have such difference on our mental wellbeing.
  6. Give back. Sometimes by feeling involved in the community it can add a sense of purpose. A sponsored walk, donating unwanted toys to charity, random acts kindness or a litter pick are all good examples of how children can feel involved in their local community and as though they are playing their part. Take a look at our Youth Ambassador Programme.
  7. Colouring can be a way of soothing a tired mind. Sitting with them and colouring together can sometimes lead them to chat to you and let their guard down in ways they may struggle with in a more formal setting.
  8. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep has a huge impact on the wellbeing of a child. Encourage them to go to bed at a regular time. Practicing some mindfulness or yoga could help them to feel calm and relaxed before bed.
  9. Digital devices. If your child is having issues with online bullying look at our e- safety information for parents for help with applying privacy/security settings and advice around what to do to support your child. Encourage them to take some time out if it is needed. Our Digital Detox Journal could help them with this.
  10. Be flexible. Flexibility is key right now. For all of us. The world is subject to so much change that it’s important to accept we need to apply that to ourselves too.

Self-care is a phrase that our children should be used to hearing as they grow. We need to help them understand what it looks like for them specifically and help them to access it independently. Ultimately, we need to make sure that ‘voice inside’ is helping them and not hindering them. Kindness to ourselves is just as important as kindness to another.

 

Lucy Howard, BulliesOut Digital Communications Officer

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If you are being bullied or are concerned about someone who is, you can receive help and support from one of our trained Mentors through our e-mentoring service.

If you would like a Mentor to email you, please contact: mentorsonline@bulliesout.com

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