In the United Kingdom, there is a week in February devoted to the mental health of children. We think this is fabulous! And so, we are doing our part to bring that week here to this side of the Atlantic.
This year’s theme is Growing Together. 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’. As caregivers/nannies, we play an important role in our charges’ mental health.
Our schedule of activities follows. As always, we’d love your photographs of works in progress or works completed. Sharing with other nannies is informal education and perhaps your charge and yourself can be the mentor this time.
- Monday (7 February): we introduce Watch one growth story and use it to start a conversation with our charge(s) about growth and the different challenges we may face. More information here.
- Tuesday (8 February): who supports With our charge(s) we will complete this art activity to help them think about who supports them to grow.
- Wednesday (9 February): the hard thing We will model to our charge(s) how to choose a difficult task. We will choose ours, and they must choose theirs. We then set aside an age/stage appropriate amount of time for us to each independently practice our chosen task. At the conclusion, we debrief about how we felt before, during, and after the task. We then use art materials to remind ourselves not to get distracted by dissuading feelings when we felt so much better after the practice. Resilience researcher Duckworth (2018) explains her rule in this short video.
- Thursday (10 February): already grown With our charges(s) we will complete this art activity to support our charge(s) to look back at their past growths. Success breeds success.
- Friday (11 February): work-week close out Watch a second growth story with our charge(s) and use it to start a conversation assessing how the activities this week have emboldened our charges to resiliently face the future. More information here.
- Saturday (12 February): professional development Learn “How to Manage Your Child’s Emotions (and Your Own)” from the 2021 Happily Family Conference via on demand encore for Supporting Nannies. Supporting Nannies who are logged in to their account will find the link here: . This encore is for 24 hours only, so plan ahead and schedule time! For the general public, we offer you this link instead.
- Sunday (13 February): movie night; 8 pm Join us for an online viewing of “Finding Nemo“, a movie about a fish who is not afraid to face challenges and grow through them and the adult who is making classic caregiver mistakes and has to learn to trust in the young one’s growth as well. Here’s the join link; all are invited.