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5 ways to maintain your family's mental health



The 27th of January marks Parent Mental Health Day, and although our main focus is of course on children, My Primary Tutor recognises that family life has a huge impact on children and how they learn!


We know from many years of experience that the more children see their parents, carers and family practice good mental health and wellbeing, the more likely they are to be able to do so. Children look to their close family as their best role models, and so it makes sense that we as our children's guardians lead by example!


Here our our best tips for better whole-family mental health!





Connect


Taking time to connect, especially now that restrictions are lifting and we are no longer quite so reliant on social media for our personal relationships, is (in our opinion) hugely beneficial to wellbeing.


Taking up a whole-family hobby (such as walking or cycling, for example) is a great way to have regular shared experiences - and from shared experiences connections and closeness grow! It could be as simple as making time at the end of the day to switch off screens and have a chat, with everyone sharing something about their day.


Learn


Learning is a GREAT way to enhance self esteem, and if you choose to learn something as a family, you will be making the connections mentioned above! You could embark on a Lego project, create a new recipe, or even learn a language together ready for a holiday abroad (don't forget that families are welcome during My Primary Tutor language lessons!)


Don't forget - My Primary Tutor have a flagship programme called Emotions First - where we help children to recognise, name and cope with their emotions, making them more able to be resilient and engaged when it comes to their learning - you can find out more and make an enquiry right here!

Engage


This is also known as mindfulness, or living in the moment. Taking the time during the day to check in with ourselves, and just to have five minutes peace where we have no agenda or to-do list can be hugely beneficial, especially these days, where access to devices mean that everyone is 'switched on' all the time.


Apps such as Headspace and Calm have free offerings that are just great, and many are beginning to offer short meditations for children too. You would be surprised how much children enjoy this 'me time' and how quickly they learn to sit quietly and focus. A skill like this will benefit them for the rest of their lives. There is a fabulous article by the BBC here which offers tips for teaching mindfulness to children which comes highly recommended!


Move


We all know the science - exercise produces those feel-good hormones called endorphins that can really benefit our mental health and well being. Exercise really is good for body and mind.


Why not combine movement with connection and all go out for a family walk once a week? Or do a Supermovers video all together each day before school? (It's MUCH easier than Joe Wicks, we promise!)


You could even take up something more extreme like trampolining or parkour (links here will take you to UK associations where you can find a nearby class).


Give


Giving, if you can, really will make you feel good, and giving as a family feels even better!


Why not choose a charity you'd like to give to as a family (perhaps one that feels special to you) and set up a penny jar in the kitchen to add to? Perhaps you could do a sponsored activity as a family to raise funds?


And don't forget - charity and giving don't have to involve money - you can collect up abandoned toys and give them to the charity shop, or just make a card or write a letter to a relative or friend - giving love is just as amazing (if not more so) as giving money!



Don't forget, if you need help with your child and their mental health, My Primary Tutor has a bespoke programme called Emotions First which is built around Emotional Literacy. This is a person's ability to recognise, name, and express feelings. We take it a step further by looking at why they feel these emotions and how we can make these feelings more positive.
Our Emotions First programme helps pupils to build confidence and think and feel more positively about their learning. When they believe, they really can achieve!

Find out more here.
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