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Who is responsible for a child’s emotional well-being?

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

I recently posted on Facebook advertising my cards for young people in various groups, a guy posted the following

I thought parents looked after their kids well-being, but I forgot we are a country of snowflakes.

Apart from obvious troll like quality of his post and his use of a now well known catchphrase to use to try to belittle or undermine someone, he got me thinking.

Do people really believe it’s solely the responsibility of the parents to ensure the well being of a child?

Only this week Ofsted announced possible plans to ensure schools meet standards in providing for the well-being of their students.

We all know there are parents who put the emotional well-being of their children first, and we are also sadly are only too well aware of children in care, children abused and neglected.

A child learns a lot by using social interaction at school, by observing peers and developing relationships, they are also affected by the same peers when they are the subject of bullying and so a lot of their emotional development takes place in the classroom.

Is it not therefore a natural progression that teachers are armed with the skills and resources to provide emotional support and help a child’s build resilience.

Mental health issues are known to develop before the age of 14.

If a child is taught emotional resiliency and an awareness of their own strengths from an early age maybe we can bring down the numbers of suicides in young adults.

Parent are not with their child 24/7 we hand over our children at the school gates for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week for 38 weeks over 12 years. That’s a lot of hours away from parents, and a lot of hours with professionals who have training, resources and skills to help a child learn to build resilience and strength.

Even in pre-schools and nurseries using animal strength cards can turn learning about their own individual strengths into a game, choosing a card to match their peers strengths shows insight and awareness.

In older children character strength cards have a wider range of characteristics a child can recognise in themselves and others.

Even in the quiet corner, the opportunity is there to allow a child who is angry or frustrated time to reflect and focus, using calm cards a child who may have been in an argument with another child or a child upset over what they perceived as being picked on can read the cards quietly to themselves and the positive affirmations reinforce their strength.

As a child grows we know that outside influences become bigger, social media has a huge impact on a teenagers world, cyber bullying and peer pressure is a big issue.

If we can build resiliance and strength in children when they are younger they could grow strengths within to be able to cope with the pressures of social media, vulnerable young people are often victims of CSE, Trafficking, substance misuse.

Just imagine the outcome of a 14 year old being potentially groomed on social media, who says to herself I am as strong, I am capable, I am loved, and believes it because she’s been taught from an early age, against the outcome of a 14 year old who thinks they are worthless, has no self-esteem and seeks affection.

I think the child's well-being is the responsibility of each and every adult the child comes into contact with, childminder, pre-school teacher, primary teacher, Drs, and parents and extended family.

If we can teach a child from an early age to build resilience and strength, it can also affect their life choices in their teens, helping them to avoid gang culture, CSE , Trafficking , and into adult hood.

Oh, and the post on Facebook was deleted by the admin of the group.

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