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Now, more than ever, parents are aware of how their children might be feeling, encouraging them to talk as we live through a global pandemic.
Research has shown children have shown an increase in mental health difficulties during lockdown, such as feeling unhappy, worried, being clingy, and experiencing physical symptoms associated with worry.
As parents, it can be tricky to know how best to support your child when they become fearful – are their worries something they can deal with alone, or is it a sign they need some help?
To help your child articulate how they’re feeling, we had a peek in upcoming book, 101 Tips to Help Your Anxious Child, by Poppy O’Neill, who has written widely on mental wellbeing for children and adults.
Here’s an extract from the book, which is released on 13 August, detailing nine ways parents can help their anxious child.
1. Create a mental health shelf
Keep feel-good movies, motivational quote books, treasured photos, stress toys and soft blankets all together somewhere your child can access them whenever they need a boost. If a shelf isn’t practical, you could use a box, drawer or suitcase. You could encourage your child to personalise theirs, making it an appealing go-to place for wobbly moments. Make sure it’s well stocked with familiar, comforting objects that will help restore your child’s sense of well-being.
2. Find the right time and place to talk
Sitting down with your child to “have a chat” might not be the best strategy, as it could feel unnatural and intimidating to them. Try to broach the subject while you’re doing a calm activity, just the two of you. Perhaps gardening, walking, cooking or colouring...