ELSA 'Emotional Support ' & Covid Support
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The emotional well-being of our children is so important. It is even more apparent during these unprecedented difficult times. Children may display a whole range or mixed feelings and emotions due to the change of normal structure and routine.
We have created this page to provide a lot of useful resources to help you support your child in a way that suits them. Please remember that one size does not fit all.
CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) have put together some top tips to support well-being. Find the guidance here.
CAMHS Tips (please see in detail on their website)
1. Set daily and weekly routines
2. Set daily achievable goals
3. Make time for Self-Care
4. Values; Making time for the things important to you
5. Identify the triggers that make you feel low (or try to identify what triggers your Child when they are unable to communicate these with you)
6. Create a suitable place for you and your child to study
7. Talk with Family, Friends and Neighbours
8. Speak to Support Agencies to explore possible further Tips / Advice and Support to help you at this time.
Teaching mindfulness activities to children will give them the skills they can use anytime; the skill to calm down, slow down and feel better when they are upset. Try this breathing meditation designed specifically for children.
Breathing Buddies – ask your child to lie down on the floor and put a stuffed animals on their stomach. Ask them to breathe in silence for one minute and notice how their Breathing Buddy moves up and down, and any other sensations they notice. Ask them to imagine that any thoughts that come into their head turn into bubbles and float away. Having a Breathing Buddy there makes the meditation more friendly and shows the children that a playful activity doesn’t have to be noisy.
Visit Childline for a range of calming activities.
The Mindful jar – this activity can teach children how strong emotions can take over and how to calm down when these emotions happen. We should put a big spoonful of glitter glue into a clear jar and fill it almost to the top with water. We then put the lid back on and shake it to make the glitter swirl. We then tell the children that the glitter is like their thoughts when they’re upset or angry and they can see how when it is whirling around it makes it hard to see clearly. And that’s why we make silly decisions when we’re upset and this happens to all of us. We then put the jar down in front of them and ask them to watch what happens when they’re still for a little while – the glitter starts to settle and the water clears. We then tell them that their mind works the same – when they’re calm for a few moments, their thoughts will settle and they will see clearer.
The Art of Touch – give an object to your child to touch, such as a ball, a feather, a soft toy, a stone, etc. Ask them to close their eyes and describe what it feels like to you. Repeat with a different object. This exercise teaches children to isolate their senses and to tune into separate, clear-cut experiences.
The Bell Listening Activity – ring a bell and ask your child to listen carefully to the vibration of the ringing. Ask them to stay silent and raise their hand when they can no longer hear the sound. Then ask them to stay silent for one more minute to pay attention to any other sounds once the ringing has stopped. Ask them to tell you every sound they noticed during that minute. Young children love this and it helps them connect to the present moment and the sensitivity of their perceptions
Visit Cosmic Yoga to complete a mindfulness session with Jaime.
Tips for managing anxiety in children
“The treatment for anxiety isn’t to make the fear go away, it’s to manage the fear and tolerate uncertainty”
Structure their day. (For more help with this, see the suggested daily planner below.)
Avoid giving too much reassurance. Children can come to rely on the reassurance and want to hear it more and more often — and when a parent isn’t able to give them complete reassurance their anxiety can worsen.
Look for the positive – make a list of silver linings or start a gratitude jar by adding one thing you are grateful for each day.