Mental health problems such as depression and anxiety affect about 1 in 10 children and young people, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives. The issues manifest very differently than they would in adults, and since children have yet to develop many of the necessary coping mechanisms, parents are faced with a unique and two sided challenge in both recognising and dealing with these often sensitive matters. There is evidence that age-appropriate mindfulness practices can go a long way towards facilitating this process, alongside other factors such as eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, a safe family environment and having time and freedom for imaginative and creative play. Mindful Monsters is a specially developed mindfulness programme for children that has been created by the charity Scope. It serves as a new and effective way to impart the necessary coping mechanisms to deal with stress, anger and overwhelm, among other emotions, and it works through a series of fun activities all intended to enable children to better attune with their bodies and their emotions, and to give them the language to recognise these emotions in themselves.
The activities can take as little or as much time as you like, and besides being educational, they are a positive way of spending quality time together as a family. The cards encourage laughter, affection, talking about emotions and sharing common interests, which in turn helps build important connections, and naturally reduces stress for both parent and child. By normalising everyday emotions, the activities also go some way to reducing the stigma around mental health, and opening up the lines of communication on which a child’s emotional wellbeing, and resilience to cope with life’s many challenges, is highly dependent. With the Mindful Monsters subscription programme, you’ll get a pack of seven activity cards delivered to your door each month to enjoy together as a family. Thanks to the flexibility of the activities, there is potential for longevity in the commitment they represent to prioritise mental wellbeing, which on World Mental Health Day (and going forward), has never been more important.
Find out more at mindfulmonsters.co.uk
Sponsored by Mindful Monsters