At Jacaranda we feel that supporting children’s mental health is one of our priorities. It is so important that it was put into Jacaranda Preschool’s Stragic Plan – 1.1b Key Action says “To support every child in their individual path to ‘being, belonging and becoming’. This is essence is supporting a child’s mental health.
Staff have trained in the Wings – Supporting Mental Health for Children 0-5years program as well as the KidsMatter program. We have also trained in how to present Relaxation and Mindfulness in a more meaningful way to children. The Kidsmatter website has a lot of resources available to staff and parents to help support children’s mental health.
Suggestions for families
Spend time with children by having fun, playing games, going to the park or going somewhere together as a family.
Try to maintain routines as much as possible. Routines and consistency help children feel secure.
Build and maintain supportive relationships with family, friends and early childhood staff. Talk with them about how they can best support you and your child during hard times. Tell staff about any concerning behaviour you are noticing at home.
Try to help children to understand and manage their feelings; this can help them develop coping skills.
Help children learn to cope with loss and change by providing support and reassurance, honesty and clarity; help them also to understand that loss and stress are a normal part of life.
Acknowledge children’s feelings and try to understand and respect them, especially when they are going through a difficult time. Offer support and reassurance by asking questions and letting them talk about their feelings.
Try to support children in building their internal protective factors (e.g., good communication and problem-solving and social skills) by acknowledging and encouraging their skills when guiding their behaviour.
You can find out form information about the Kidsmatter program at https://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/