A Simple Tool To Increase Children’s Emotional Well-Being
We all need a tool to increase children’s emotional well-being this year, we do! In previous school years we would be shopping for backpacks, school supplies and reusable lunch boxes. The first day of school outfit or school uniform would be washed and ready to go for the first day of school. But the 2020/2021 school is forcing us to make different decisions, decisions that none of us feel prepared to make. Our stress and the stress of our educators are resonating with our students, as we all discuss and get ready for a vastly different school year that puts safety first.
Part of our safety check beyond the physical protection of masks, hand sanitizer and safe learning environments is doing an emotional check with our kids.
How are they feeling behind that mask or computer screen? Are they smiling or are they unsure, worried, or angry about how to navigate their new norm?
Children learn and participate in their studies when they are happy, calm and stress is at bay. How do we help them get there when they are unsure about their schedule, have lost their routine and find the changes they face a bit unsettling?
Parents and Teachers Working Together
As parents and teachers, we are used to being a unified team to help our kids grow, learn, adapt and thrive. All of us are looking after their physical safety but how do we look after their mental health and wellbeing? How do we try to keep that smile behind the mask throughout the day between home and school? How do we all keep our mental health and wellbeing in check, being our be selves, as we step into our new normal?
Check the Emotional State of Our Children
We will be checking masks and hand washing but let’s check emotional states as well. We need to know where we are first before we can assess what we need to do or where we need to go. Using a simple tool like our Emotional Seesaw before school, during school and after school will identify for our kids and ourselves, where we are. We take our physical temperature, so why not check our emotional temperature as well! Tip: This is a good tool for adults as well. When you check your kids, check where you are too!
Change the Emotional State of Our Children (And Ourselves)
Knowing where we are emotionally lets us see if we need to change our state to prepare ourselves for the day, or maintain our state so we are ready for what the day brings us. We will be much better prepared for the day if we are happy, stable and open. If we are sad, worried, or not our best, it is harder to learn, to move forward and be our best.
If we check our emotional temperature and find we are not in a great state (sad, worried, tired, angry) getting to a happier state of wellbeing is as simple as 1, 2 , 3. Our biggest challenge is identifying our state, changing it is easy.
Give every day. That is all you have to do. Complete one small act of giving and your emotional state will improve. It is that simple.
Parents can do this in the car, as they walk to school with the kids, as they kiss them while running out the door. Teachers can start their day with one small give to get their students happy, in as little as five minutes. This Tool To Increase Children’s Emotional Well-Being is easy, simple and effective!
Here are some easy small acts of giving that we can do before school or start their remote learning:
- Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. Saving water helps our planet, so this is a planet give!
- Top up a bird feeder in the back yard before your kids go to school. This animal give is a great routine to ignite a little happiness in the entire family.
- Pack an extra snack (granola bar, apple, something that is wrapped or can be washed) and ask your child to share with someone at school. They will be happy to know they can share something with a friend. This people give is a great way to get your kids happy.
- Wash your hands before you leave the house. Let your kids know that this small act of giving will keep everyone safe. Washing your hands throughout the day is a give to our classmates and can be done all day long!
- Do an elbow bump or leg slap when wishing your kids a good day at school. This small but powerful give during our times of social distancing will get them into the routine of creating and recognizing friendship while keeping socially distant.
- Have your child express one work of gratitude before they head out to school. They could be grateful for their groovy mask or their wonderful breakfast. They could be thankful their dog wont be alone for the day, they could be grateful for their good night sleep. This one verbal note of gratitude will start the day off right.
In the classroom, children and teachers can do simple acts of giving during the day:
- Say thank you for a clean classroom when they walk in.
- Write a note of thanks to the school cleaners who are keeping them safe
- Write a story for seniors living in retirement homes and have it delivered to a new by facility. If they are younger kids, do an art class and have the kids share their artwork with a seniors facility.
- Teach alternatives to the daily hug so kids can show their friendship in different ways. Elbow bumps, foot slaps and heart hands are a great way for kids to show their affection and friendship to one another.
- Start a gratitude wall in the classroom. Have kids post a gratitude note when they are feeling low, or not their best selves.
Happiness is contagious. When one person gives to another, both feel better, happier and change their emotional state. These small acts of giving are also free, there is no cost to changing a persons state and no budget requirements to complete any of these ideas.
Check In Frequently And Continue to Give
The tool for checking your well-being and mental health is easy to use. Who doesn’t want a tool to increase Children’s Emotional Well-Being. Cool thing is, the way to change that state is even simpler. The key to success and maintaining happy students, teachers and parents is to do this every day and in some cases a few times a day. Mental health is not static, it changes. To keep all of us operating at our best selves, giving every day is a necessary action. If parents and teachers work together, checking in on our students both at school and home, the new reality we are facing will be successful, enjoyable and fun.
Get more resources to help you give every day. Sign up for your free membership and start The 365give Challenge as a school, classroom or family. Our resources are easy to use in the remote, in person or home classroom. The results will be rewarding and help all of us be our very best selves, every day.
Let’s be physically safe and emotionally well during this next year!