What benefits has the COVID-19 Lockdown had for yourself? Have you been able to decorate the house, finally de-clutter your home as well as having more time with the kids?
While lockdown has been challenging, I think as a parent, it's actually given us one major thing, at least, that we didn't really have before. Do you know what that one thing is? It's given us more control over our children's education.
Even if you’re not a qualified teacher, you’ve been able to decide what your children learn each day. Some parents feel that the national curriculum should include more creative subjects and others feel there is too much emphasis on core subjects like maths. Well, most parents have been able to influence their children’s learning more than ever before and I think this has been a fantastic opportunity for us all!
Lockdown has also brought many more challenges and difficulties, for both parents and children. One area that concerns me the most is how this prolonged lockdown has affected our own mental health and our children's wellbeing.
Read my recent article on the 10 Signs That Lockdown Might Be Affecting Your Children’s Mental Health.
It's essential right now that we invest the time and energy into supporting our children's wellbeing and mental health on a daily basis. Whilst there are many ways we can do this, I want to share with you five things I've been doing over the past couple of weeks to help my children stay strong and positive during these challenging times. These are all simple things that we can take just 15mins each day to do and the benefits will be well worth it!
WALKING ON THE HILLS.
Where I live, we're lucky enough to live right next to a golf course, and it's a real beauty. And so whilst the golf course was closed down to the golfers I took the advantage, and had lots of fun walking and climbing the hills with my two children, who loved it. They’ve never hit a golf ball in their life, but I can tell you one thing, they loved those walks along the course, climbing the hills, hearing the birds sing and smelling the scent of freshly cut grass.
GAMES IN THE GARDEN.
Spending as much time as you can outside, outdoors, during lockdown is a must. And if you have a garden, then you really do need to take advantage of it during lockdown. You don't need fancy equipment or expensive things to have fun in the garden. Just be creative, have lots of fun, and play loads of games. I've enjoyed playing simple games like tag, water balloon fights, jumping in and out of the inflatable pool, as well as turning the garden into an assault course!
BUILDING THINGS TOGETHER.
If we've not been in the garden building things, then we've been building things in the house. I've had the sofa upside down and we turned it into a house. In fact, I can remember when I was a young boy, I used to love turning the living room furniture into a den! I can remember how much fun it was, and I can see how much fun my kids have had doing the same. Whatever you choose to do, just get creative and your children what they want to make, build or create.
READING POSITIVE BOOKS.
Who doesn't love a good story? A good book takes your mind off worrying and into another world where CODIV-19 doesn’t exist. During lockdown I've been extra purposeful about what books I read to my children. I'm trying to pick the ones that have a special, hidden meaning to them, a message that can help them stay positive. Have a look through your children's books. See if there are any stories that are about overcoming challenges and solving problems and being resilient in times of difficulties.
TEACHING THEM HOW TO CARE FOR THEIR MENTAL HEALTH.
I’ve also been using these challenging and sometimes stressful times to reinforce the importance of protecting our mental health. You don't have to be a doctor or a trained counselor to teach children how to care for their own mental health. But you do need to know the basics so that you can support your children’s mental health. Knowledge of what our mental health is, being aware of our emotions and knowing how to take care of our mental health every day is an important area that we need to educate our children on. We just cannot rely on schools to do this. We know our children the best and when they’re young there is a window of opportunity to help build a strong foundation to support their mental health.
So there you have it, 5 things that I've been doing recently to help support my children's mental health.
I hope they give you some ideas and inspiration for how you can support your own children.
Leave a comment below or share what activities you have been doing.
Help Your Children Stay Happy, Positive and Mentally Strong During These Challenging Times…
If you'd like to learn more about simple ways you can help your children be more mentally healthy and happier, check out Wellbeing in 15. It's a programme that includes 10 mini-courses and teaches children about topics such as taking care of their mental health, improving their confidence, boosting their self esteem and building resilience. These are all key areas that help to provide the right foundation for children to have positive mental health.
And for a limited period of time you can get an extra discount To Support Children's Mental Health Whilst Homeschooling.