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Matchborough First School Academy

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Support for Children

How you can support your child at home...

 

Children and young people face many stresses, which can include school-related things such as exams, homework, friendship difficulties and bullying, or possibly parental break up and moving house. When children are stressed, you may notice increased levels of anger and temper tantrums or withdrawal and anxious behaviours, as well as problems sleeping.

 

Learning how to relax and calm down is a key skill in learning to deal with stress, no matter what age you are. However, it is a skill that requires regular practice, so instilling this knowledge in your child now will help them learn early on how to face stressful situations in a healthy way. Here are a few areas to consider when helping your child learn the skills needed to keep calm:

 

1. Be a role model for keeping calm
Look carefully at how you deal with stressful situations and your own response to anger/anxiety. Try to model a calm response to your child and give reassuring statements like “I felt quite nervous before that, but managed to stay calm and that helped.” Avoid generalisations such as “he’s just like me...I have a short fuse”. Create a positive self-belief in your child that behaviour can change, and praise your child when they have coped well.

 

2. Identify the anxiety triggers
Step back from the situation and try to notice any patterns in your child’s behaviour and any factors that trigger anger or anxiety. Notice if you deal with their behaviour calmly and consistently.

 

3. Increase awareness of feelings
If your child is old enough, try to label the feeling (angry, upset, nervous etc.) and identify any physical changes that happen when they feel like this (e.g., feeling hot and sweaty, heart racing, etc.).

 

4. Teach calming techniques
A range of very simple techniques can be very effective when trying to calm down and relax:

  • Breathe slowly through the nose, hands on the tummy and eyes closed.
  • Breathe slowly and count from 1-5 (counting breath).
  • Breathe out slowly as if blowing out the candles on a birthday cake.
  • Visualise a calming colour as you breathe out (colour breath).
  • Visualise a calming place as you breathe out.
  • Say a word to yourself or short sentence (“I can keep calm”).
  •  

Try to identify which of these techniques your child finds most helpful, and have that be their own way of calming down.

 

5. Practise as frequently as possible
Once they have chosen one of these calming down techniques, keep practising it as often as possible both in situations where they feel calm and relaxed, and in situations when they feel stressed. Your child can practise alongside you, and slowly move on to more independent use. Have visual reminders (e.g., a picture on the fridge) or use a non-verbal cue (e.g., holding up five fingers) to help your child remember to use their chosen technique. You can also create a chart to record when they have used it (e.g., “I can use my counting breath when I feel angry”), and work towards a reward.

 

(Taken from the theschoolrun.com website)

 

Reach4Wellbeing Service in Worcestershire.

 

The Reach4Wellbeing Team is part of the Starting Well Service in Worcestershire. We promote and support emotional wellbeing for children and young people aged 5-19 years old. We are a team of 7 staff, with one case worker for each of the following areas:
Wyre Forest, 
Redditch
Bromsgrove
Worcester
Malvern
Wychavon. 
We offer short-term group support programmes for those experiencing emotional difficulties, specifically anxiety, low mood and self-harm. These programmes are based on skills which research has discovered helps children and young people with these difficulties. Government recommendations promote group work as the first way to help children and young people with these issues as early as possible. 
Our Aims  
  • Promote Positive Wellbeing
  • Reach Children and Young People in their Communities
  • Reduce the Stigma of Mental Health
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