Improving Kids’ Wellbeing at Home
With families self-isolating together, it can feel overwhelming trying to keep children entertained, engaged in learning and happy. While away from school, kids are missing out on interacting with peers and building important life skills such as resilience.
To ensure kids aren't losing out on developing these helpful skills, Nuffield Health, the UK’s largest healthcare charity, has created a free downloadable wellbeing journal for kids to complete. Completing the challenges and activities in the journal can provide a sense of self-fulfilment and encourages a focus on wellbeing in these uncertain times.
Here, Nuffield Health’s Head of School Wellbeing, Terry Austin, provides some tips on how to build those skills at home.
“Helping children take control of some aspects of their daily routines at a time when so much is out of their control can be really beneficial. Completing the activities in the journal can be done as a family activity, can instil some routine into every day and can help parents identify if their children have any needs.”
1. Encourage them to track their progress: Writing down achievements on a daily basis can be motivating. Whether you set yourselves challenges around the number of star jumps in 1 minute or are writing down the books they’ve read during lockdown, they can look back over the days and weeks and feel a sense of achievement.
2. Build emotional awareness: Encourage your children to write down how they are feeling on a daily basis and understand what made them feel that way. This may help them express emotions they would otherwise be unable to communicate and can be used to have an open and honest conversation with them. This will help them build emotional awareness and resilience, and importantly, enable you to respond to what they need.
3. Get involved: Do as many activities together as a family as you can. If you’ve got a journal, you can all count how many glasses of water you drink a day or how much exercise you’re getting. During this unsettling time, it’s really important to create a sense of unity, and help children feel like they are part of a team.
4. Different spaces for different activities: School is where your children go to learn, and it can be challenging trying to recreate this environment. Think about it as if you are working from home - it is really important to have a distinction between space for learning and that of relaxing, sleeping and eating. Try and establish different areas in your house for different activities, setting up a designated area where your kids can be active, get on with their work, and try to ensure that their bedroom remains a space where they can sleep and relax.
5. The importance of routine: While it’s tempting for normal routines to go out of the window, it can really affect children’s emotional wellbeing, and the choices they make as a result. The four important components of wellbeing are: how I move, how I eat, how I sleep and how I feel. Try to incorporate an aspect of each into your children’s day, with regular sleep times, which will give a sense of routine. Incorporating the four elements of wellbeing will help them to understand the importance of each and how it can make them feel.
6. Set daily challenges Setting daily challenges for your children to complete gives them something to focus on. Once they are complete they will have a feeling of achievement and self-fulfilment, which is important for development and can improve their mood.
7. Don’t forget about creativity: Encourage your children to come up with their own ideas for activities which you can incorporate into their daily routine. They are much more likely to be engaged if they have a sense of ownership. Nuffield Health’s My Wellbeing Journal is a great place to start with this - there are plenty of ideas to encourage kids to be creative and learn new skills.
For over 18 months, Nuffield Health has been supporting schools through the delivery of its free School Wellbeing Activity Programme (SWAP). Based on academic research and behavioural change theory, SWAP addresses the four main areas of wellbeing: how I move, how I sleep, how I eat and how I feel. Delivered by Nuffield Health experts for school children aged 9-12, the programme encourages pupils to form healthy habits and build emotional resilience.
To download Nuffield Health’s My Wellbeing Journal, and for more tips and videos to keep your kids happy and healthy, go to: www.nuffieldhealth.com/kidswellbeing.
Added: Fri Apr 3 16:54 2020 (1 month ago)