Though children's mental health is a topic we've covered substantially in previous blogs, we feel it’s a topic that simply cannot be covered enough, especially during Children’s Mental Health Week (7th to 13th February).
Thinking about our recent venture into the App world, we want to emphasise that positive mental health among children is integral to the RainbowSmart ethos. We want children to be healthy, happy and thriving, though we realise that may not always be possible.
Understanding this is half of the battle. Children can experience a wide range of complex emotions, and the support of parents, carers, teachers, friends and countless others is crucial in helping children realise that these emotions are entirely valid. It can be a challenge when children’s trusted adults are also struggling mentally. Life can be overwhelming for all of us at the best of times, especially in the wake of a pandemic that has essentially turned a lot of our worlds upside down.
But hopefully the last two years will allow us to reflect and notice the signs of struggle in anyone. Communication is a crucial part of the equation in collectively improving our own mental health, and that of our children. Often difficulties stem from an inability to understand one's emotional state, and this is something true of both children and adults. Speaking on my own behalf during times of struggle, I've found that talking is an incredibly helpful tool in allowing me to understand my emotions and using it as a platform to build on.
A key difference between adults and children is that adults have often had the opportunity to work through difficulties and even realise that things can get better. Children often do not have the advantage of having worked through these issues before. Allowing them an early opportunity to understand emotional concepts will only be beneficial in the long-term.
Take for instance one of our 40 RainbowSmart stories; 'Pink is Feeling Sad', in which Pink's friend Red notices that his friend Pink is feeling low. He shares his concerns with his teacher, who encourages Pink to talk through his emotions. By the end of the story, Pink feels confident talking through his feelings with friends and family. As a result, he begins to feel better.
Another of our stories ‘Pink Misses Mummy' deals with separation anxiety, which is naturally a considerable concern among parents leaving their children at school or nursery, perhaps for the first time. Even beyond that first day of school, however, separation anxiety can still be an issue, and it's perfectly natural. We want children that are struggling to realise that this separation is only temporary and is entirely normal.
So, as we mark Children's Mental Health Week, let RainbowSmart be a key part of the journey to children understanding their mental condition and feeling confident enough to speak openly on their emotions. Having grown up in an era with a lot less prominent focus on mental health, it's clear that children now are fortunate to live in a world that encourages this discussion a lot more. Of course, there is still a lot of work to do, but together we can all be the difference we want to see.
You can download RainbowSmart from the App Store, or Google Play now. We're even offering seven days COMPLETELY FREE! We realise that you can't put a price on your children's mental health, and with the support of us all, children can truly thrive. Simply check out the RainbowSmart Linktree here to get the ball rolling.