Information for parents

Information for parents 2022-03-22T09:56:34+00:00

Talking about Mental Health with your Child

As parents and carers, it can be hard to know whether your child’s feelings and behaviour are normal or becoming a problem. This is even harder during adolescence when young people can feel a great deal of pressure and increasingly want to loosen their family ties. Top tips for talking mental health with young people include thinking about timing, providing empathy and making sure your child knows you are always available to talk. Talking can be a helpful way for young people to manage their well-being as it helps them to make sense of and manage difficult experiences and feelings.

For more advice and information regarding this issue, please see the resources below:

Parent Guide - Social Media, Sleep and Health

There is a lot of discussion around children and young people’s use of social media and the negative impact it can have on their well-being, self-esteem and relationships. Managing social media use and screen time is very important for your child. It may be helpful to discuss these topics with your child and considering age guidance provided by companies designing apps. There are also various helpful phone features available for you to use which allow you to track the amount of time spent on devices as well as setting limits. It is also important to promote a range of healthy activities for your child to participate in.

For more advice and information including information provided by Hackney Learning Trust, please see the resources below:

Parent Guide - Bullying

Sadly, bullying is a common experience in schools all over the world. It can take many forms and can have a lasting impact on the emotional well-being of everyone involved, including siblings and parents. It’s normal to feel anger when you hear your child is being bullied but it’s important to listen first. It’s a big step for them to tell you what’s happening, so stay supportive, go at their pace and only try to intervene once they are ready.

For more advice and information regarding this issue, please see the resources below:

Parent Guide - Exam Stress

While some young people enjoy the challenge of exams, many students can feel incredibly daunted by them and this isn’t something to be ignored. Positive mental health is vital to flourish, thrive and achieve in an exam environment. It is important to encourage students to complete homework and coursework in a timely manner to reduce the stress caused by procrastination, as well as ensuring they have time to rest, have fun and enjoy their hobbies. Eating and drinking well, along with getting a suitable amount of sleep should also be ensured during exam periods to allow students to concentrate and perform to the best of their ability. If you begin to notice exams significantly affect a child’s appetite or their ability to sleep, cause a child to avoid lessons or not want to attend school or anything else which causes you concern, please contact the school. This will allow us to help support your child in co-operation with the support they are receiving at home.

For more advice and information regarding this issue, please see the resources below:

Parent Guide - Anxiety

All children and young people get anxious at times, and this is a normal part of their development as they grow up and develop. Some people are just naturally more anxious than others and are quicker to get stressed or worried. There are many ways you can help your child to manage their anxiety. It can help to talk to your child about finding a safe place in their mind – somewhere that they feel relaxed and happy. It may be a grandparent’s or friend’s house or a holiday beside the sea which they can picture when ‘wrong thoughts’ come into their head or they are feeling anxious. It will be important to work on positive-thinking. Name their worst case scenarios and think through how best to handle it together. Another way is by helping them to maintain good sleeping habits, calm bedtime routines, limited screen or computer time in the evening, a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise to reduce the levels of stress hormones,.

For more advice and information regarding this issue, please see the resources below:

Parent Guide - Depression

It is natural for people to feel sad and low sometimes. However, when these feelings don’t go away they can overwhelm a person and prevent them from doing the things they enjoy. If you notice this in your child there are ways you can help. Don’t ignore worrying symptoms, hoping they’ll go away. Talk to your child about the signs of depression that you’ve noticed and voice your concerns in a caring and non-judgemental way and trust your gut feeling – you are their parent/carer and you know when something’s just not right. However, it is important not to bombard them with questions as the intimidation may prevent them from speaking up at the right time. Sometimes, it may help to encourage them to talk to a school counsellor or trusted teacher, GP, advice services which offer helplines, webchat, emails, text and forums.

For more advice and information regarding this issue, please see the resources below:

Parent Guide - Self-harm

Self-harm is behaviour that is done deliberately to harm oneself. At least 10% of adolescents report having self-harmed. As a parent, you might suspect your child is self-harming. If you are worried, some signs to look out for include unexplained cuts, burns or bruises, being withdrawn and isolated from close friends and family or perhaps blaming themselves for problems or expressing feelings of failure, uselessness, hopelessness or anger. Discovering that your child is self-harming can be very upsetting and stressful. Under these circumstances, there are many ways in which you are able to support your child. Let them know you are not judging them or putting them down, and that you love them and that will not change. Think carefully about who to tell about your child’s self-harming. This includes thinking about their possible reactions, and balancing your child’s need for privacy with your need for support. Talking to people you trust can be a huge help.

For more advice and information regarding this issue, please see the resources below:

Parent Guide - Gender Identity

Sometimes people feel uncomfortable when talking about gender identity, sex and sexuality, and it is quite common for these terms to get confused. A person’s sex is usually assigned at birth and describes the biological differences between the female and male genitalia. On the other hand, gender refers to a person’s internal sense of their identity. Questions regarding gender identity can emerge at any point through a person’s life, with some people knowing from childhood that they feel mis-gendered while others may not realise until well into adulthood. When a person self-identifies their gender as different to the sex they were assigned at birth, they are referred to as transgender.  It can be unhelpful to describe being transgender as a choice as gender identity is a deep-rooted, sense of self. Many young people struggling with gender identity issues can face stigma, bullying, isolation and sometimes even violence. However, there are things you can do to help make your child feel supported during this point in their life.  Your acceptance and support is incredibly important for your child if they are confused about, or coming to terms with their gender-identity. Fear of negative judgement and rejection can be huge obstacles in your child seeking support. Remember, your child may just be questioning their gender and this doesn’t mean they are definitely trans, although they may be. It is a journey of discovery and expression so go at their pace and try to help them as much as you can.

For more advice and information regarding this issue, please see the resources below:

Parent Guide - Supporting a child following a bereavement

Grieving is different for everyone, there are no rules or expectations. Usually, adolescents need familiar people who care about them around them at this time rather than experts or professionals. When talking to your child about their feelings, be guided by your child and respect their feelings as well as being honest and open about your own thoughts and feelings. Be aware of certain behaviour changes during this time include a change in sleep patterns or appetite, anxiety, a change in concentration and depression. Most importantly, help the home to be a safe nurturing environment for your child, encourage healthy eating, good sleep and contact with supportive friends. Remember to take care of yourself and gain support from family friends or professionals. Please seek the support of the school as we wish to do all that we can to help you through this period.

For more advice and information regarding this issue, please see the resources below: