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Student Wellness - Ways to Support Your Child


General Stewart Elementary Wellness


Ways to Support Your Child’s Mental Health


This pandemic has lasted much longer than many of us expected.  Despite our best efforts to help kids adapt and stay well, there are still challenges.   Some children continue to learn on-line.  Others have gone a long time without play dates, after-school activities, or visits with extended family.  In the face of so much disruption, it’s natural to worry about how your kids are holding up. 

When it comes to mental health, your support nurtures your child’s well-being and it helps them cope with life’s ups and downs.  You play a key role in noticing problems and responding to them.  As the pandemic carries on, here are some tips to help you care for your child’s mental health.


Check in:


Every day, take a few moments to check in with your child.  Ask them about their activities and interests, and how they’ve been doing.  Encourage them to talk about their thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Checking in can feel more natural while doing an activity together, like eating a meal, driving, or walking the dog.  If they just aren’t comfortable opening with you, help them find a trusted adult they can turn to if they need help, like a teacher, grandparent or coach.  Reassure your child that you are there for them, no matter what.  Give them your full attention --- really listen to what they say.  It’s okay for your child to feel sad, mad, or upset about something.



Surround them with calm, warmth and safety:


As much as you can, provide a positive home environment that nurtures your child’s healthy growth & development.  Here are some things you can do:


  • Love and accept them
  • Encourage and support their interests
  • Create predictable routines and set clear boundaries
  • Help develop their social emotional skills, like how to handle challenging emotions, set goals, & solve problems
  • Involve them in decisions that affect them
  • Support & model healthy habits, like eating well, staying active, and getting enough sleep
  • Unplug from technology as a family especially at mealtimes, bedtime & during play
  • Go outside together – unwind, move your bodies, and spend time in nature






Help them learn about stress


Teach your child that stress is a natural response to challenging situations.  Help them figure out what stress looks like and feels like for them – for example, they might feel nervous, shaky, or nauseous. Stress looks and feels differently for everyone.

Help your child explore different ways to cope with stress.  Role model the techniques that work well for you and give them an opportunity to learn and practice what works for them.  Here are some techniques you can try together:

  • Running, dancing
  • Yoga, art, music
  • Going outside for a walk

Breathing exercises like starfish breathing, or box breathing; here are the links to the videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEmt1Znux58





Be proactive about mental health

You know your child best.  Ask yourself how they are doing at home, at school, and with friends.  Watch for changes in the way they think, feel, or act.  Keep an eye out for physical sign of distress like headaches or tummy aches, sleeping problems, or lack of energy. If your child is experiencing distress that is intense, long lasting or causing problems in daily life, there are caring professionals that can help.

Your family physician ca be a great first point of contact.  Ask them about local options.


For more information you can visit the following:


You can visit:  www.ahs.ca/ca/helpintoughtimes for a directory of services, phone numbers, and virtual supports for handling financial pressures, unexpected challenges and stressful situations.

You can call 811 to speak with a registered nurse, any time of day or night.

Your child can contact Kids Help Phone any time, to talk about anything:

  • By phone: 1-800-668-6868
  • By text CONNECT to 686868
  • Through Facebook Messenger: Visit KidsHelpPhone.ca/Messenger
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