Hello and welcome to the mid-July newsletter update!
Summer Holidays: Bonding with Your Child
The summer holidays provide a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your bond with your child. With a break from school, try take time where possible to have more time to connect and create lasting memories. Here are ten top tips to make the most of this special time together:
1. Plan a special outing or adventure that aligns with your child’s interests.
2. Set aside dedicated one-on-one time each day for focused interaction. Younger kids particularly regularly remember those who get on their level and joins in on their play, do some Lego with them, run around doing hide and seek, enjoy the moment.
3. Engage in activities that encourage communication, such as storytelling, art or journaling. Our last newsletter explored art as communication and expression, did you see it? https://www.teenagementalhealth.co.uk/blog/post/19975/july-newsletter--art-in-therapy-blogs-and-more/
4. Explore nature together through outdoor walks, picnics, or camping trips. Maybe there’s a local litter picking group? Getting outdoors, and doing something good in the community can give all the family a sense of achievement. It is also a moment you can share you're proud of them helping take care of their environment.
5. Play board games or engage in collaborative projects that foster teamwork.
6. Cook or bake together, encouraging creativity and fostering a sense of accomplishment. It’s also a fun way to teach important life skills!
7. Practice active listening and validate your child’s emotions to create a safe space.
8. Create a family ritual, such as a weekly movie night or game night. Let them take part in forming what that could be, and do you best to maintain this routine for them.
9. Share fond stories from your childhood and ask your child to share theirs.
10. Use technology mindfully, setting boundaries for screen time and prioritising time offline activities. If you feel your child is struggling to connect with others or experiencing social anxiety, we offer therapy support at www.teenagementalhealth.co.uk.
We are at the end of the exam season, and we are sure that many of our readers will have young people around them struggling with worries for results days. Our next blog will provide advice on how to help during this time!
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International Picnic Month July 2023
Promote bonding with your child and family by organising a picnic before the end of July as part of Picnic Month!
Take advantage of the pleasant weather (when it appears) and pack a delicious meal to enjoy in a park or scenic spot. Picnics provide an opportunity to unplug from technology, connect with nature, and engage in quality conversations with your child.
Book Recommendation: Tom Percival
Tom Percival has written several wonderful books for children. Some of his notable works include:
1. Perfectly Norman
2. Ruby’s Worry
3. Ravi’s Roar
4. By the Light of the Moon
5. The Invisible
These heartwarming stories address various themes such as self-acceptance, dealing with worries, and embracing uniqueness. They are perfect for sparking meaningful conversations with your child and promoting empathy and understanding.
Myth: Sometimes You Need to Shout at Your Child?
No! Yelling at your child is not an effective way to communicate or discipline. Shouting can lead to fear, resentment, shame, and a breakdown in trust. Instead, opt for open and respectful communication. Set clear boundaries, use positive reinforcement, don’t just rely on punitive actions.
You can employ some effective discipline strategies that focus on teaching and guiding your child and on understanding natural consequences. However, you don't have to shout. By fostering a loving and supportive environment, you can build a healthy and strong parent-child relationship.
If you’re feeling at the end of your tether, rundown and unsure about what to do about possible relationship struggles or breakdowns in the family home. We at TMH can offer parental sessions therapeutically led to help install better understanding and advice for at home.
This is particularly helpful if you have a child resisting therapeutic support who might benefit from it. Get in touch to find out more at https://www.teenagementalhealth.co.uk/contact/
Dangers of the Internet for Children
We all know about it on various levels, but what do we do about it?
As parents, it is crucial to understand and address the risks that the internet poses to our children’s well-being.
Here are some key areas to be aware of:
Parental Security: Neglecting to secure phones and devices exposes children to inappropriate content and potential online threats. Keep devices updated, use parental controls, and educate yourself about online safety measures.
Chat Rooms and Online Games: Unmonitored access to chat rooms or games with chat features can expose children to strangers, cyberbullying, and inappropriate content. Regularly monitor your child’s online activities and set age-appropriate boundaries.
Online Grooming: The risk of online grooming is a real concern in the UK. Predators may exploit children’s trust and manipulate them into engaging in harmful activities. Educate your child about online safety, establish open communication, and teach them about potential dangers.
Even apps and games for children targeted at 13 or under are open to such risks from strangers, including other children, not just adults who will be attacking or manipulative of the potential vulnerability of others.
Impact on Mental Health: Excessive screen time, social media pressures, and cyberbullying can negatively impact children’s mental health. Encourage a healthy balance between online and offline activities and foster open conversations about their online experiences.
At Teenage Mental Health, online related experiences effecting patients mental health is a common topic, and something we are passionate to help with and promote good habits to avoid them.
Prioritise your child’s online safety by maintaining parental security, setting boundaries, and fostering open communication. Seek guidance from local authority pages for parental advice on internet security, as some offer free training.
Additionally, engage with your child’s school to stay informed and collaborate on ensuring their online well-being. Together, we can create a safer digital environment for our children.
Even the most trustworthy of children, can fall into unhealthy habits or risky online situations online, as adults we all have a duty of care to ensure these are avoided as best possible for our children.
You can also take a look at https://www.childnet.com/help-and-advice/parents-and-carers
That’s right, the summer is always a great time for all to get active and take part in sport, we know many patients have been watching Wimbledon 2023 this year.
We also hear more about activity clubs that are back up and running now the immediate risk of COVID almost seems a distant memory. This is great as we know how sports and physical activities can be such a positive influence on a child or adolescents (and adults!) mental- wellbeing.
Womble is still visiting the centre on Thursdays and Some Fridays. He loves to say hello, so please do visit him if you’re passing by.
Wombles is very fond of a tennis ball, but he is focusing on his Therapy Pup Training, and not becoming a famous Wombledon ball boy! But he is getting good at playing Fetch!
We’ve distributed over 60000 Children’s Mental Health Guidance Bookmarks in and around Suffolk!
Find out more via our homepage on how to order these for your school or organisation FOR FREE.
Who are we?
Teenage Mental Health is a team of highly qualified therapists who have come together to provide exceptional services to those stuck on waiting lists fed up with not meeting a threshold for care.
We work on a not-for-profit basis so whilst we do have to charge for therapy (sadly no government body funds us) we do not make profits, our only priority is making sure that you and your child get the care that you need.
What Do People Say About Us?
“I really don’t have the words to express how deeply and immeasurably grateful we are to you for all that you have done for us”.
“I could never have predicted that life would take the turn that it did, and without your unswerving support, guidance and encouragement I dread to think where we’d be now”.
“You gave us the best therapist and she has been amazing. We wish you all ongoing success with your incredible service” - From H the mother of a patient after they finished sessions with us.
How Can You Access Our Services?
Assessments are free and even if you are not a patient or parent of a patient we are always happy to have a chat with you and offer support.
When you contact us therapy can start almost immediately within 1 or 2 weeks!
Thankfully we are now well into the year and whilst it may not have warmed up significantly the evenings are getting lighter, and the sun seems to be making an effort to shine for us all.
We’re Here To Help
We hope this newsletter has been informative and helpful. If you or anyone you know needs support, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Teenage Mental Health. Remember, we’re here to help and offer the care you need.
Teenage Mental Health are a self-referral talking therapy service. We help children, teenagers, and adults who are experiencing mental health struggles.
If you would like more information please get in touch with us
at www.teenagementalhealth.co.uk or call reception 01473 411432.