It’s children’s mental health week 2021 and the theme is express yourself. If we want to teach our kids that it’s important to talk and share their feelings, we (as a society not just parents) have to do so too (in an age appropriate way they can relate to). If we want them to express themselves in healthy ways through art, music, play and using their imaginations, they need to see us do that too.
If we want them to show empathy to others, we need to show them empathy, even if they are sad for the littlest thing. Sometimes the small things are the big things. We need to relate to them instead of dismissing their feelings. If we want them to grow up to be productive doing things they love, we need to show them the value of effort.
We need to encourage them to keep playing and having fun, no matter what age.
If we want to teach them gratitude and the power of forgiveness, we need them to see us in meditation and/or prayer. They need to see us forgive and be thankful.
If we want them to be self compassionate, we need to work every day to show self compassion to ourselves.
This is on all of us as a society to make these changes. To challenge old and unhelpful attitudes such as ‘don’t cry’ and ‘don’t make a fuss’. When we fail to express ourselves, we push our pain down deeper. It’s not good for us or the planet. Share your mess. Express yourself. You got this.