'Family life is messy' — charity on mental health for young people
Stefania Di Cio`
- Credit: Archant
A Finchley Road-based charity gave a presentation on resilient parenting and helping children navigate uncertainty as part of Ham&High: Our Community's Mental Health.
At the online event on May 21, Lucy Bailey, founder of Bounce Forward, spoke about emotional resilience and how we think about it in terms of parenting.
The 13-year-old charity supports schools and parents to think about resilience, how that fit to mental health and how to help children respond to uncertainty.
Lucy said: “Family life is messy. Accept that you are not always going to get everything right. Accept that our children are going to experience negative emotions.”
Parents’ wellbeing and how they respond to uncertainty matters, she said, and “children notice what’s going on for adults”.
Lucy explained. “If we look after our wellbeing and teach resilience, we can act as an inoculation to mental illness.
“It is very important that we give a very clear understanding to young people of the difference between looking after our wellbeing and when our brain is ill.”
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She explained the importance of creating emotional intelligence from a young age.
“It is essential we teach what empathy means," she said.
“Empathy means to feel with people, to understand what it feels like to experience certain emotions.”
Positive emotions improve our intellectual, physical, social and physiological resources.
She talked about resilience, saying: “It is thinking about what I have learned about myself from a situation, and what I can take from it to move forward.”
Resilience also include reaching out to other people, self-regulation, self-awareness and self-efficacy.
Lucy said that when adversities happen to us, we react in different ways. This is linked to the beliefs we have, which lead to how we feel and behave.
“Try to separate the 'a', activating event, the 'b', the beliefs – what I am thinking in the moment – and the 'c', the consequences – the emotions and how I behave.
“This is a simple, yet powerful, method to think about resilient thinking.”
She ended with some tips on how to nurture resilience: spending time being, value positive emotions, talk about the perspectives.
“Our mantra is: resilience is not about avoiding the storm. Resilience is about really learning to dance in the rain: learning to think about how to deal with uncertainty in a way which is going to enable me to take control.”
Learn more about Bounce Forward at bounceforward.com