The World Health day campaign this year is called Depression -Let’s talk about it! Depression affects people of all ages and it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. Depression is now the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year old according to the World Health Organisation. Yet, the sad thing is that depression can be prevented and is treatable.
Family loss, divorce and moving are some of the big events in families that can lead to feelings of sadness, loneliness and helplessness. Small events in life can do this too. If the sadness is not resolved, this can then lead to depression. Many depressed children become depressed adolescents and then later on depressed adults as they have never gained the tools and education needed to know what triggers their mood changes. Everybody becomes sad at times and we have to let our children know that sadness is a valid emotion and it is alright, the feelings of sadness will go away in time and there are steps to take that will release the sadness.
One of the main ways adults can help children understand their emotions and help them through their sad days is to listen to what they have to say – REALLY LISTEN WITHOUT A PHONE IN HAND OR ANY OTHER INTERRUPTION – it is easier said than done! Using a three point plan can help you as a parent have a fruitful conversation with your child.
Ask a few questions to aid you understand the story.
In our home we have moved several times because of opportunities that have arose. At times this has created a lot of anxiety and one of the best strategies I have found to cope with this is to read a story that can lead to conversation.
Here is a list of books separated by categories that will encourage conversation about feelings, emotions, mistakes, problems and blue days. Please comment on other books you have used in your home and classroom and I will add them to the list.
BOOKS THAT HELP YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF EVEN WHEN YOU FEEL DIFFERENT TO THE CROWD.
We are all different and unique and that is what make us all special. However, it can be hard when your friend is allowed to do something you can’t or you don’t like to play the game your friend is playing or they won’t play your game. It can also be hard to stand out from the crowd and stand up for yourself and beliefs, for fear your friends won’t like you! Here is a list of 6 books that celebrates all that it is to be wonderful and unique in a world that’s constantly trying to change you.
BOOKS THAT HELP YOU APPRECIATE THAT MAKING MISTAKES IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.
Who really likes making mistakes? It is hard and we all have to learn to accept our faults and weaknesses and be who we are. However, for little ones (and maybe big ones too) that can be tough. Learning to love yourself and accept yourself for who you really are takes time. Here is a list of 8 books that teaches that mistakes are ok, they are not only proof you are trying but can actually be brilliant serendipity. Sometimes our mistakes are taken out on other people or we fight and feel terrible, the ability to let go of the negative thoughts is a process that can take time for all.
BOOKS THAT HELP YOU PUT YOUR HEART INTO EVERYTHING, EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START.
Where do you start sometimes? Little people have so much to learn, that the world can seem daunting at times. There are so many new experiences and things, so many concepts to learn. Where do we start? Even the smallest event can be tragedy to a 5 year old. Learning to take things one step at at time, breathe, tell yourself you are going to be fine and start somewhere is a skill in itself. Here are 8 books that help children to see that a problem or even task is not as big as they thought. Stories to lift the spirit when all is lost!
BOOKS THAT HELP YOU LEARN AND UNDERSTAND YOUR EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS
Emotions can be so hard to understand and even think about. Sometimes, before you know it, the happy you is sad and then mad and then happy again. Here are 17 books to read at different moments of life. We use the bucket analogy all the time, from Have you filled a bucket today? It is a very visual way children can see how their actions and words can not only upset others but also themselves. One of my absolute favourites is My mouth is a volcano. It can be so hard to filter our words and learn to say the right thing even when you want to say something different.
If after –
Having a chat
Getting fresh air
Eating right and giving it time your child is still down, then maybe it’s time to seek help from a professional.
Click on the links below to access organisations that can help you further.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF xx
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