Information from Dorset Council
Wellbeing for parents and carers
Well-being is the state of being comfortable, healthy and happy; both physically and mentally. Following a further year of change and challenge for families and children we need to consider the wellbeing of parents and carers, as well as their children.
It is hard to prioritise your own wellbeing when you may be juggling the needs of your children, your work, and the additional stress that the pandemic has thrown in. Here are things to help you to focus on your Health and Well-being:
- Try to exercise every day
- Go outside to a green space and notice the natural environment
- Try mindful breathing
Concerned about the well-being of your child?
If you are concerned about the well-being of your child, the Dorset Educational Psychology Service has information on:
* how to deal with difficult thoughts and feelings
* how to access the parent/carer helpline
* guidance booklets for: the recovery curriculum, autism and anxiety, bereavement, trauma and attachment and transition to a new school
Like everyone, children’s emotions fluctuate, particularly at times of stress and crisis and in the height of emotion.
Returning to school from the summer holidays can be an exciting but also stressful time for children, especially after the uncertainty they experienced last year. Recognising the signs that a child or young person may be struggling with their emotions helps us to support them.
This webinar aims to provide an understanding on how parents can emotionally support their children to manage their worries returning to school.
Resources to help support your child with stress and anxiety
We have collated some resources to help you support your child with any stress and anxiety that they might be feeling.
Using the Window of Tolerance (developed by Dr Dan Siegel) is also one way of doing this. Everyone has what is known as a ‘window of tolerance’. It refers to your ability to manage your emotions in a healthy way, allowing you to function and react to stress or anxiety effectively.
This video provides information on the window of tolerance, and uses a range of inner strategies such as mindfulness to help children understand and be present with their emotions.
For people who have experienced trauma and loss, that window often becomes quite narrow. This video helps explain some ways that people who have experienced trauma can expand their window of tolerance and come back into it.
Click to watch this animation and/or access free resources from Beacon House to understand how early trauma can shape children’s emotions and behaviours.
Play is also a great way for adults and children to deal with their emotions and manage stress and worry. Watch this 2-minute video for some helpful ideas.
Back to school - tips for parents and carers
This BBC Parents’ Toolkit offers advice to help children adjust to the new school year, with practical tips and support around resilience, mental health and starting a new school.
For example, we all know that sleep is very important for children’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as their development. Getting children into good sleeping habits can often be a challenge especially when they might have enjoyed a more relaxed bedtime schedule over the summer.
Here are some tips you could share with parents helping their children build healthy sleep routines to ensure they are well-rested and school-ready.
'How was your day?'
After a child’s first day back at school or in the classroom, it can sometimes be tough getting them to open up and share how they’re feeling.
Instead of asking the typical “how was your day?”, as an alternative you could try using one of these questions that have been compiled by BigLifeJournal.
These conversations starters for parents and carers are much more fun and interesting, and children may answer with more than a single word.
Wishing everyone a great start to term and Covid guidance for families
Please see the link for the latest information from Dorset Public Health for returning to school; Returning to school - Autumn term letter Dorset Council (publichealthdorset.org.uk)
Campaign to help children have a #StrongStartSeptember
Families Information Service
Families can sign-up for free advice, assistance, and updates from our brilliant Family Information Service. They help families find childcare, fun things to do and services for young people, including leisure, health and much more. Families can check-out the directory: dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/fis-search and sign-up for our free monthly FIS e-newsletter here, which is packed with useful resources, events and fun ideas.