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The cross-company panel event we facilitated during Children’s Mental Health Week, had close to 2,000 people registering and the actual discussion was incredibly moving.  It generated 38 pages of A4 chat with parents sharing their challenges, concerns and tips regarding their children’s mental health.

Please take the time to listen / watch the recording and feel free to share with  colleagues, friends & family.

Here are 5 tips from Esther to get your child to talk about their feelings:

  1. Ask open questions. These are questions which require a full answer rather than a closed question which only requires a yes or no answer. For instance, instead of asking “Did you have a good day” ask “What was the best or worst part of your day?”
  2. Distractions away. When talking to children about their feelings ensure all other distractions are away e.g. no screens around
  3. Talk openly about your own feelings. Let them know that you also feel sad and angry sometimes and that it’s ok. It’s good for children to see you as human rather than this perfect always happy person who they don’t feel they can be their true selves around.
  4. Create a safe space. This is incredibly important. If a child doesn’t feel safe, they won’t talk at all. A great activity to try, is to create a safe corner or space within the home or at school where they can go to in order to feel safe to talk.
  5. Eye contact. Ensure eye contact with the child but don’t expect them to keep eye contact back. You want to ensure that they always know you are there and for that split second when they look up, you are fully concentrating on them.  NB: If you have a child with any type of neurodiversity then avoid constant eye contact as that will make them feel uneasy.  Appreciate that some children are more willing to open up and talk when you are side by side, for example in a car or doing something together. It may help them feel less put on the spot.

Some feedback from the Children’s Mental Health webinar

I’m actually in tears… I think I really needed this to ‘release’ not sure if its sad tears, just necessary.

Thanks so much – this was hugely beneficial for me and I’m very grateful.

Really want to listen again

Please come back and hold another session!!

Thank you for the safe space to listen, learn and share.

As ever a huge amount of help, advice and support – thank you all so much – (I always learn a huge amount 🙂 Best way to spend an hour!

I have been really struggling so this has helped and I look forward to reading all the resources.

Really great session – could listen to this all day!

What a worthwhile hour, thank you so much for sharing such great insights

Thank you so much, really useful tips and advice that I will make every effort to embrace

So much wisdom and insight to take away!

Love you guys! Inspirational and so useful

So comforting to just take time and talk about these issues that we are ALL experiencing!

Feel fortunate to be able to share parental experiences and supporting each other.

Everyone must think it is only their child/their fault but the reactions here really highlight the size of this problem.  It’s great to share and understand that we may need to support each other more.

There are too many good ideas in the chat to keep up with

This session has been AMAZING!, and it would be great to know we can hear/learn more from you, please!