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Unless you tackle all 4 aspects simultaneously there will always be a ‘weak link’ which will prevent you from fully embedding your program.
Many schools have created a MHWB advice list of what the parents should or should not be letting the CHILDREN do
All very relevant. But what about the PARENTS?
• If parents spend much of their day with their faces buried in their ‘digital time’ how is this impacting on their ‘real time’ family relationships?
• If parents are constantly ‘working’ and have a poor work/life balance what subliminal message is this sending out about the value we attach to having a quality standard of Life?
• If parents have stopped reading, learning and trying new things what message is this sending out about the value of play, learning and having a growth mindset?
• If parents are prioritizing everything that is material and don’t Give and volunteer time for others what is this saying about being aware of the needs of others?
• If parents have stopped relating and engaging in conversation with their children how can they expect the children to have the confidence to approach them when they need to talk or to develop and sustain mutually satisfying relationships?
• If parents are suffering from a Mental Health illness and are not talking about it or seeking help how is this reinforcing the stigma at home?
My school has thrown an enormous amount of energy into trying to provide a robust MH program for our students. But we know in order for it to work we need to connect parents with the work we are doing in school; we need parents’ role-modelling from the top – pushing for an environment at home which nurtures positive Mental Health. We need to encourage families to see Mental Health as the development of ‘Mental Wealth.’
Hence we have launched #familyMH5aday embracing 5 lifestyle concepts which promote positive mental health
It’s about getting the parents/carers, grandparents, siblings to come together encouraging positive interaction with each other.
I have already started the conversation at home with my 7-year-old daughter of what we can GIVE to each other. What can we GIVE each week that does not cost any money?
Her first reply was – “please give me some TIME and play with me more. You are always working and have stopped playing.”
Her honest remark shot deep and my hypocrisy was clearly evident. I need to start practising what I preach.
Start by asking your children, students, tutor group for ideas on how families can embrace these G.R.E.A.T. family mental health values. You will be surprised at their honesty and some of the refreshingly fun ideas. @freetoengage21, a charity which supports Male Mental Health, has already come on board and kindly shared these ideas for the males in the family.
Join my school.
Join me and my family and a growing number of other followers.
Clare is the Director of Mental Health and Wellbeing at Magna Carta School. Follow her on Twitter. @
This post was originally published on staffrm and is republished by kind permision of the author.