Though Covid Catchup lessons are a necessary part of bringing your children back up to speed, the prospect of having to learn things at a faster pace may be a little daunting. Looking out for your kids emotional and mental wellbeing during these times will enable them to be present during these sessions and effectively learn from them, but since most of us aren't psychologists we don't always know what to do, say or look out for. Here are a few ways you can check in on your children's mental health whilst they are entering Covid Catchup lessons:
A lot of people journal as teenagers and adults, but journaling can also be an effective way for your children to vent and reflect on their emotions on a particular day. Encourage your children to journal either on a tablet or a traditional journal, buy them some fun stationery such as gel pens, felt tips, highlighters, gluesticks and stickers so they can decorate their journals and have fun during the reflection process.
You can also use a rating method using star or smiley-face stickers so your child can assess how they feel their day went. Associating expressing their feelings with journalling and creativity can help reduce stress levels and help children feel better about sharing their feelings. Always let your children know their journals are private and won't be read if they do not want them to, but also tell them they are free to read them to you or discuss how they felt writing it if they wish.
2. Consistently Reward Them:
Rewards for working hard do not always have to be big or expensive. Giving out smaller rewards more frequently creates positive re-enforcement and lets your child know that you support them. Examples of rewards include fifteen minutes of TV time, going for a family walk, baking a cake together, watching their favourite film, cooking their favourite meal, one on one time with mummy or daddy, giving one of their chores to Mum or Dad and taking the dogs to the park!
3. Little Reminders:
Consistently reminding your child you are there for them and believe in them is another great way to show your support and open up a line for communication. Aside from telling them directly that you are there if they want to talk, you can do more indirect things such as setting up a thought box. put a small box or jar in a hallway or your sitting room/ kitchen for your child to write down questions or worries they might be having about school. Then at the end of the week you can sit down with them and talk about the thoughts they have had that week.
Another thing you can do is give them positive affirmations throughout the day. Play a happy song in the morning, put a cute sticker in their lunchbox or a loving note, write something supportive or confidence-boosting on a post-it and put it in their room or on a mirror where they will see. The more they are reminded that they are loved and are capable of getting through these stressful times, the more confident your children will be in their abilities and that they have someone who will boost them up when they have moments of insecurity.