Ever experienced when your child wakes up for school and says their ill but you know they aren’t? I was that child. Sometimes I’d wake up and feel like I can’t face school. I didn’t know at the time that I was struggling with anxiety and depression but now it all makes sense. I needed that time at home. I needed a mental health day.
This could be how your child is feeling. They may wake up with worries, dread or anxiety about going to school. This doesn’t have to be for a particular reason but it can make them feel a lot of emotions without really understanding where they have come from.
At times like this your child needs someone to listen to them. To just listen to what they have to say and give them a cuddle when they need it. A day off school could be just what they need. Mental health is as important as physical health so it’s necessary we give them the same response.
Ideas for a child mental health day
Watch a positive film – a film that they enjoy and that makes them feel good. It’s important that it is a positive film otherwise it could add to the negative feelings they are already experiencing.
Listen to their favourite music – particularly music that they enjoy and that makes them feel good. They can create a playlist to use whenever they need a positive boost.
Go for a walk in nature – spending time in nature is a great way to practice mindfulness. It has so many benefits to mental health. Ask them to focus on the nature around them and observe it all.
Spend time talking – encourage them to talk about what’s on their mind. Don’t pass judgement or give advice. Just listen to what they have to say.
Think about what they are grateful for – focus on all the amazing things they have in their life to be grateful for. They can create a colourful poster of this to remind them.
Get creative – try doing an art and craft activity that they enjoy. Or bake something that they love to eat.
I hope this list has given you some ideas to support your child next time they need it. It’s important that you support them when they need it and realise that sometimes they just need a day at home and that is okay.
If you’re looking for resources to support your child with their mental health, including growth mindset, confidence, emotions and feelings click here to have a look at the Cheerful Children Resource Library and see how it can support you and your child.