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5 Ways to Promote Mental Wellbeing in our Grandchildren

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posted October 9th 2018

Our friends at The Creation Station highlight the importance of understanding and addressing the mental health and wellbeing of our grandchildren in one of their blogs, an area which is hugely topical and well worth a read. Here’s an overview of what they shared which is founded in the work of Paul Stallard (Professor of Child and Family Mental Health at the University of Bath, and Head of Psychological Services at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust) and his advice on how to encourage mental health and resilience.

1) Talk to our grandchildren
It’so simple but so important. Voice your concerns to your grandchild and allow them to communicate their worries. This will be easier when your grandchild is less distracted – in the car, whilst colouring-in or drawing, before bedtime. If this is difficult for you both, Paul Stallard recommends following the ‘SLEEP’ structure.
S – stop;
L – listen,
E – empathize;
E – explore (why do you think this is happening, why does it make you feel sad?);
P – plan (what shall we do? When shall we talk again?)
There does not need to be a definitive solution. For many of our grandchildren, just sharing their worries will make a difference.

2) Celebrate their successes
If your grandchild is struggling with their psychological wellbeing they will often have poor self-esteem. They are unable to see their strengths and only focus on their failings. Parents and grandparents can help by celebrating their triumphs, no matter how small and by not encouraging comparison with others.

3) Encourage your grandchild to have a more positive view of themselves
Learning to accept that they will not excel at everything can be a hard lesson to learn. If your grandchild is going through tough times they can have a very negative inner voice, constantly criticising themselves and being over critical about their abilities. Teaching our grandchildren to accept themselves and their own abilities is vital for mental wellbeing. They must be able to forgive themselves their mistakes and weaknesses and learn that no one is perfect.

4) Promote a more balanced view of the future
If our grandchildren are suffering from poor mental health they will often have a negative view of the future and believe that failure is inevitable. This outlook needs to be challenged and resilience built to overcome difficult times. Resilience and persistence are key traits that need to be developed for the lifelong mental wellbeing

5) Patience – these aids and lessons can take time
Resilience takes a while to develop and it can be a slow process. The over-riding message is that by putting the foundations and building blocks in place early on, can pay dividends in the future.

The current emphasis on ratings and grades in the education system, the pressures put on our grandchildren through social media, modern life and life events can all have a negative impact on our grandchildren. Learning how to help them cope with tough times is a really important, but difficult part of grandparenting.

The Creation Station believe that creative activities are also beneficial for promoting wellbeing.
For more information about care and creativity visit The Creation Station website or contact your local leader for more information about bespoke events, visit here for more details. If there is not a local leader in your area, why not find out more about starting your own franchise.

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