Children's Mental Health Week It's Children's Mental Health week! "Growing Together" This week from the 7th - 13th February is Children's Mental Health week- Woo! I'm so happy we have a week to raise awareness around this, as sometimes being adults, we forget what it is like to be a child or young person, and the stress and struggles that they can face. I'm guilty of it now. I have a stressful day at work or I'm stressed about financial problems or the rising energy bill crisis, and I sit there and think "I wish I was a kid again, I had no problems really in school." But that's so far from the truth. School was a very difficult time for me, and I'm sure lots of young people can relate. You can face issues such as bullying, finding friendship groups, the now added pressure of social media, your image, wondering if I'm going to fit in? The list goes on. You never know what struggles someone is going through whether that be young or old. We need to remember to be kind and support one another, and "help each other to grow." In my last blog I talked about parents mental health and how important it is to look after yourself as a parent. This week I want to focus on how we can check up on our children and their mental health. I've put together a list of useful tips from various experts and resources on how we can help our children and each other to grow. Be there to listen It can be tempting to brush off our children's problems, especially if we are busy or had a bad day. But it's so important for your child to know you are interested in what they have to say. This will make it more likely our children will talk with us about their hopes and problems when they are older. Encourage their interests Your children look up to you and the things you do. So, don’t be afraid to introduce them to some of your own interests. Sharing your own passions with your children is not only a great way to let them explore their interests, but it can help you to grow together. You could even find a new hobby you can do together. Build positive routines We know it may not be easy, but routines make our children feel safe, develop life skills and build healthy habits. A good night's sleep is also really important – not just for your child but for us too! Routines can help you feel more organised and in control, which lowers your stress. Take what they say seriously Listening to and valuing your child says without judging their feelings, in turn makes everyone feel valued. Consider how to help them process and work through their emotions in a way that can help each other grow. Support each other Pay attention to their emotions and behaviour, and try to help them work through difficulties. Children thrive when parents are able to actively promote their positive growth and development. In the famous words of Woody from Toy Story, "I can't stop Andy from growing up, but I wouldn't miss it for the world."