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Mental Health and Our Grandchildren

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posted October 10th 2018

Today is World Mental Health Day so our focus is on the mental health of our grandchildren. Did you know that according to YoungMinds, 3 children in every classroom have a mental health problem?

More children and young people than ever before are reaching out for help with their mental health but often information is hard to come by so YoungMinds are striving to change this!

YoungMinds offer some key tips for any grandparent or parent who is worried about their grandchild’s behaviour and how we can help them, read on to find out more…

1) Worrying or difficult behaviour might be short-lived, so give it some time. All children go through stages of feeling anxious or angry and they can show this in lots of ways, for example, tantrums, crying, sleeping problems or fighting with friends or siblings. They might be adapting to a change in the family or in their school life, or just trying out new emotions, and will generally grow out of worrying behaviour on their own or with family support.

2) Talk to your grandchild: Even young children can understand about feelings and behaviour if you give them a chance to talk about it. Take it gently and give them examples of what you mean, for example, ‘When you said you hated Molly, you looked really angry. What was making you so cross?’, or ‘When you can’t get to sleep, is there anything in your mind making you worried?’

3) With older children, they might not want to talk at first. Let them know you are concerned about them, and are there if they need you. Sending an email or a text can work better if this is the way your grandchild likes to communicate.

4) Ask your grandchild what they think would help – they often have good ideas about solving their own problems.

5) If you can, talk to your child’s parent about your worries, when your grandchild is not around. They might have a different take on what’s going on. Try and sort out how to deal with the behaviour together so you are using the same approach, and can back each other up.

You can find more advice on when to think about getting professional help, and what to do, if you are concerned about your child’s behaviour, in YoungMinds Parents Guide to Support A-Z.

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