Mental & Emotional Wellbeing
Christine Kritzas shares her expertise on the theme of Mental & Emotional Wellbeing. With over fourteen years of experience as a practising Psychologist, Christine has worked extensively with adults and children. Currently she is a Counselling Psychologist at The LightHouse Arabia and is also the creator of a children's board game, Smart Heart ®️, which aims at helping raise emotionally intelligent kids.
Child Mental Health: Creating a platform for your child to speak
Make a P.A.C.T. with your child today! Make use of P.A.C.T. when trying to be more emotionally available and supportive when your child is experiencing emotional difficulties, and to engage in more meaningful conversations with them. It is important to be playful as adults, make yourselves fully present & available, remain curious and set aside quality time.
- In order to engage in meaningful play time with your child, it is important that parents are able to let their own hair down, tap into their inner child and become playful themselves.
- Allow yourselves to kick off your shoes & physically get down to your child's level, and you will automatically find yourself tapping into your child's world with ease.
- As simple as it may seem, making positive eye contact with a child is what will communicate to them that you are present and available to them. Research suggests that parents are more likely to make negative eye contact with their child (e.g. When reprimanding a child "look me in the eyes when I'm speaking to you" - as opposed to making positive eye contact with their child. Make a point of looking at your child in their eyes when communicating positive statements & expressing your love & appreciation for them in your life.
- Using your child’s language will also communicate that they have your undivided attention (e.g. When they say they “feel weird”, don’t ask: “What is making you feel anxious” because they didn’t say that – instead ask: “What is making you feel weird?”.
- Research suggests that when we repeat two to three words that someone has just used in a sentence, they feel heard and experience you as actively listening to them.
- Stand in a position of curiosity as opposed to standing in a position of judgment & knowing when conversing with your child. If your child says to you that she is feeling worried, don't assume that you know what they are feeling worried about. Instead, validate their feelings by saying: "I can see that you're feeling worried, what might be making you feel this way?"
- If your child responds with "I don't know" - take it a step further by asking: "If you were to take a guess, what do you think would make you feel worried?" Or "If your friend Emma were to be feeling worried, what do you think would make her feel this way?".
- Love to a child is spelt T-I-M-E. It's not necessarily about spending quantity, but rather quality time with your child. Every child has an emotional tank and if it's not filled with positive attention in a day, they may tend to act out or withdraw.
- It is suggested that parents set 15 minutes aside every day, of uninterrupted/one-on-one time with their child.
- In order to ensure that your time is of quality, make sure to ditch your phone in those 15 minutes and give your child your undivided attention.
- It is important that parents label this time (e.g. 'This is mommy & Jake time & we get to spend it playing an activity that you would like to play'). That way, your child will know that they got their time with you today.
Children develop their ability to recognise and name emotions through plenty of practice. It’s easier for children to practise when they identify with the characters and their experiences in the books they are reading. Browse through our books to find the best selection in the category of mental & emotional wellbeing.