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As parents we are all too aware of the fragile environment surrounding our school aged kids where social media is concerned, especially in the area of mental health wellbeing. Following is an article, from the Pymble Ladies College, which illustrates the mindfulness with which one Sydney school is supporting it's students and parents in the area of MHWB.

'In every school term, there usually comes a time when parents start wondering what on earth has got into their child. 

Moodiness, grumpiness, reluctance to attend school and a seemingly random meltdown, (or three!), are sure signs that your child is either feeling the pressure, exhaustion, or a combination of both, at the pointy end of a busy term.

The last weeks of term can be stressful as students struggle to maintain the same level of energy with which they began the year while continuing to apply themselves to lessons, homework, assessment tasks, practice NAPLAN exams, rehearsals, co-curricular sport and activities competitions and championships, service learning, leadership duties, Learning Discussions, excursions, incursions and...the list goes on! 

So now is the perfect time to remind your child to make use of the wellbeing strategies and tools we intentionally equip them with to help them cope. They can start by using the ‘RULER’ program’s 'Mood Meter' to identify and acknowledge how they are feeling and what is causing them to feel this way – this will help them to regulate their emotions so that they can make an informed decision about what actions to take next.

They can also take a 'Meta Moment' to help them expand the space in time between an emotional trigger and their response. 

Once your child has identified their emotions, they can use one-on-one 'Coaching Conversations' or the ‘SMART’ goals framework to work out what steps they can take to get through the challenges ahead.  (SMART goals:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based, with dedicated pages in all Student Diary’s where they can map out their SMART goals for each term).

They can also follow our ‘5 Steps to Wellbeing’ program:

Give – your time, words and presence to people you love and appreciate

Be active – keep doing the things that improve your mood

Keep learning – learn new things and savour how good it makes you feel

Connect – talk and listen, and be there for others too

Take notice – appreciate the simple things that bring you joy.

Another simple way to keep your child on top of their game right to the end of term is to ensure they are getting the right amount of sleep for their age. This equates to 9 to 11 hours for a 6 to 13 year-old; 8 to 10 hours aged 14 to 17 years; and 7 to 9 hours for 18 years and older.

Even better if they can practise mindful eating, savouring the act of eating nutritious meals, especially breakfast, as opposed to mindlessly eating low-nutrition foods while distracted or stressed.'

All the above sounds like a very common sense, yet very effective approach to cope with the challenges of MHWB impacting on our kids.

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