Last month we went to the Be.Nips seminar in Bath for Mental Health and Children.
We heard Paul Stallard, Professor of Child and Family Mental Health at the University of Bath advise us all to remember to talk to our children. This seems easy and like common sense, but how do you actually discuss your child's feelings or indeed not say the "wrong" thing.
Paul used an analogy:
S: Stop what you're doing and engage with your child if they have given you a cue they want to talk.
L: Listen to what they are saying. We all want to help our children but sometimes we can be guilty of butting in and trying to solve the problem.
E. Empathise, put yourself in their shoes and confirm that you can understand why they might be feeling like that.
E: Explore, what made them feel like that? What happened to make them build up to these feelings? Explore the context of the problem with them.
P: Plan a way to cope with the scenario if it happens again.
A negative cycle in thoughts can happen when children focus on their weaknesses rather than their strengths, so try to build an environment in your home where strengths are celebrated and weaknesses treated with compassion.
We also found these little resource cards from Mindful Kin, they are great for exploring feelings and starting to open up discussions about how your child is feeling.