Every week is children’s mental health week

We celebrated Children’s Mental Health Week (5th – 11th February 2024) which was an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and promote understanding about the importance of supporting children’s emotional well-being. This annual event highlights the importance of good mental health and the positive impact it can have on a child’s overall development.

Following on from Children’s Mental Health Week I would like to offer some valuable tips into how to nurture and enhance children’s mental health all year round:

1. Open dialogue and active listening:

We need to encourage open and honest conversations with children, where they feel comfortable discussing their thoughts and emotions. Creating a safe space where they can express themselves freely without fear of judgment will allow them to talk openly. Adults should actively listen to children, validate their feelings, and let them know that their emotions are important and valued. Active listening means giving your full attention, maintaining eye contact, and acknowledging their feelings. By doing so, it will demonstrate your support, which ultimately boosts the child’s self-esteem and mental well-being.



2. Establish routines:

Implementing consistent daily routines can bring stability and create a sense of security for children both at home and at school. Regular mealtimes, bedtimes, and scheduled activities help them feel grounded and provide structure to their day. Unexpected activities and a change in routine can unsettle even the most confident child.


3. Encourage physical activity:

Physical activity has been proven to have a positive impact on mental health. Regular exercise helps release endorphins, boost mood, and reduce stress levels. However, not all children enjoy organised sports, so going outside for a regular walk or a bike ride can still have the desired effect. Staying inside all day needs to be discouraged!



4. Teach coping strategies:

We need to help children develop effective coping mechanisms for managing stress and difficult emotions. Breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques can help them manage their emotions positively. We should encourage children to take breaks during the day when needed and engage in activities that they enjoy.



5. Monitor and limit screen time:

While technology has its benefits, excessive screen time can have a huge negative impact on mental health. Parents, particularly of younger children, need to encourage a healthy balance by setting limits on screen time at home and promote alternative activities such as reading, colouring or playing board games. An iPad or phone should not be used as an alternative to talking to your child or managing their behaviour.



6. Foster a positive environment:

It is important to create a nurturing and positive environment at school and home, where children feel loved, supported, and safe. Celebrate their achievements, focus on their strengths, and provide encouragement when they are faced with challenges.



7. Be Mindful of Warning Signs:

As teachers and parents, we need to educate ourselves about the potential warning signs of mental health issues in children. These may include changes in behaviour, mood swings, withdrawal, difficulty sleeping, sudden weight loss or changes in appetite. Do not be afraid to seek guidance from a healthcare professional or the Mental Health Lead at your nursery or school to ensure that appropriate support is provided.


Children’s Mental Health Week serves as a reminder of the importance of attending to children’s mental well-being. By implementing these practical tips, we can all create an environment that fosters resilience and supports children’s overall development. Together, we can all play our part in nurturing happy, healthy, and mentally strong children.

Best wishes,

Jude Ing

Head of Pre-Prep and Mental Health Lead, Broughton Manor Prep School

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