Emotional Wellbeing

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As part of our ongoing commitment to improvement and professional learning, our staff continue to participate in regular professional development sessions.

Mrs Hassum and Mrs Smith have both recently participated in seminars covering topics related to children’s emotional wellbeing.  We would like to share a little of the information we learnt and some resources.

Parenting an Anxious Child - Trish Hassum

Anxiety/worry – it is a “normal” emotion; but like all emotions, we feel them to different intensities and at varying times. Whilst it may be a feeling you are familiar with, maybe you think and consider it a lot; these things differ from understanding it and knowing how it works; controlling it so that it does not get stronger or take control of your life. This can make anxiety confusing and frustrating, given you experience it and consider it a lot, but how does it actually work?

Worry can help you, and it can also hurt you. 

We have access to an e-book that explains how this works beautifully and we would like to share it with our interested families. Please request a copy via email.

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Now, what is normal? My image of normal is most likely different to yours, and to the person next to you etc. I challenge you to consider what normal means to you, and with this knowledge, celebrate your uniqueness; be proud of who you are! What I find most amazing about life, is how we are all different; every single one of us. We all have positive attributes and we all have attributes that need a little more effort or consideration.  

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What I learnt most from this professional learning was that sometimes we can travel through life as a family and make adjustments to certain behaviours to adapt to the needs of the family/people around us, to make their lives more comfortable, and I believe that this holds real value and empathy. But what I began to understand and relate to personally was that sometimes these adjustments begin to control your life, or the lives of others. At these times it is then necessary to take a good look at the issue, to start talking with others and to seek some further guidance, maybe from a professional; because once you understand how it works, you are then empowered to control it as you wish.

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“It takes a village to raise a child.” I know it is used plentifully, but we can’t all be masters of all knowledge. Everyone has something to contribute to the world; I strongly believe in the theory of multiple intelligences and passionately believe that I can learn something from every person I meet. I believe that we are utilising our world when we involve the knowledge of experts to guide us and teach us when we have a desire or need to learn.

As suggested, we all experience anxiety/worry. Dr Carolyn Russell was a very enjoyable and approachable presenter at this learning session. She is the co-Founder of Foundations Counselling Centre at Carseldine. They appear to have a broad array of people and knowledge, so if you are looking to expand your village, perhaps someone there may be what you are seeking?

We thank you for allowing us to be a part of your village :)

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Teaching young children to manage their emotions - Leisa Smith

Some practical tips follow:

Children need support to learn to identify and control their emotions.  We can assist this by “mirroring” their facial expressions and verbally identifying their feelings from a very young age – “I see you are feeling sad/angry/frustrated”.  

When children are overwhelmed by their emotions, their language skills might not be adequate for them to be able to express themselves verbally.  Waiting until the child feels calm and discussing the situation can be more successful.  Connection and empathy are needed to regulate our emotions, then discussion and learning can take place.

A few steps that adults can take when assisting children to calm down are -

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  1. 1. stay calm and in control (even though this can be difficult)
  2. 2. hold a young child tightly (especially if they are at risk of hurting themselves or others)
  3. 3. mirror the child’s facial expressions
  4. 4. de-escalate the situation using your voice (start high/loud and bring it down)
  5. 5. help the child make sense of what’s happening using words
  6. 6. wish fulfilment (say “I know you wish that ……”)
  7. 7. provide a ‘chill out’ space where the child can go until they feel calm (perhaps with physical items like cushions or a special toy)

This session was delivered by Dr Kaylene Henderson.  Her website has some fantastic free resources, as well as access to her online parenting course – definitely worth checking out!

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© Bald Hills Kindergarten & Preschool 2016