CHILDREN'S MENTAL HEALTH WEEK - GROWING TOGETHER
Children’s Mental Health Week 2022 runs from Monday February 7 - Sunday 13th. This year’s theme is Growing Together. During the week, schools across the UK will be exploring the concept of growing emotionally and thinking about ways to help each other grow.
Place2Be launched the first ever Children’s Mental Health Week in 2015 to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. Now in its eighth year, they hope to encourage more people than ever to get involved and spread the word.
REAL proudly sponsor Place2be - https://www.place2be.org.uk/ - who provide emotional support for children in schools. REAL fight for enhanced mental wellbeing. If everyone took up boxing training, we’d live in a fitter, better world; mentally, physically and emotionally. Boxing like no other sport can empower and transform the individual.
Growing Together is about growing emotionally and finding ways to help each other grow. Challenges and setbacks can help us to grow and adapt and trying new things can help us to move beyond our comfort zone into a new realm of possibility and potential. However, emotional growth is often a gradual process that happens over time, and sometimes we might feel a bit ‘stuck’.
Feeling stuck is very common. When we come into conflict with our world, a lot of mental, emotional and sometimes physical energy is spent grappling with the issue. Many powerful emotions arise. Often the scenario in front of us is experienced as an assault on our sense of self and it is rarely fair. We can remain in a state of high emotion, as we battle to understand the extent of what has happened, searching for a reason why and looking for something to blame or to retaliate against. It is often only a passage of time that allows us to accept that what happened has happened and an emotional development or transition can occur.
While we are grappling with conflict, we can learn to identify what we are feeling, name it and say it. This is a healthy and healing step. Then we can learn to identify whether we have the power to change the situation or not. Most often this requires great emotional strength and courage. But we must realise that by not accepting things you cannot change, we are making a choice. And while we live with that choice we will ourselves remain the prisoner to the emotional agony. Retaliation or revenge are never part of the plan, we simply strive to re-build what was broken and re-build both stronger and wiser than before. There are of course times when we do have the power to change the situation and identifying this is a skill. A skill that also requires great emotional strength and courage. Often this is saying sorry.
When our children experience conflict or injustice, we can encourage them firstly to express their emotion. Critically we must then support them to feel validated while in their emotional state. It is our support and generosity at this juncture which will breed the generosity of spirit in them to accept that what has happened has happened. We love them so they learn that they are of themselves great value and that they are equipped to accept the world as it is before them - this is a superpower. The next step is far from easy, but there are two paths. One is to forgive. The second is to take action to promote a resolution.
When Growing Together, we can always refer to this philosophical quote:
“…grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” - Reinhold Niebuhr
There is no acceptance and no courage without love. Parental love develops love for self.