06 September 2023

How to prepare your child for preschool

Starting preschool is a big milestone for both your child and you. Learning to spend time apart can be a difficult transition, but beginning the formal learning journey is exciting too. Here are tips to help make the transition to preschool a smooth one.  , 1. Visit together, If you are able, plan to go to your child’s new school together before their first day. Play on the playground together and explore the classroom. This way, when they start on day one, school will be a familiar place.  , 2. Play school together at home, Use pretend play to help your child get used to the idea of preschool. Take turns acting out different routines like story time, singing songs and nap time. You can also switch up the roles and let your child be the teacher. This will help your child think of school as a fun place and reduce anxiety on day one.  , 3. Turn getting-ready skills into a game, Practice fastening buttons and zippers, putting on a backpack and hanging a coat or jacket on a hook. You could turn putting on shoes into a game – see how fast you can do it!  , 4. Share your experience, Tell your little one stories about when you first went to school, how you felt and special memories you made. If you can, find preschool photographs of yourself or other trusted adults your child knows and talk about them together.  , 5. Create a new routine, Start practicing the new bedtime and wake-up time your child will need for preschool several weeks before school actually starts – pick a bedtime that will provide a good night’s rest and a wake-up time early enough so neither of you have to rush in the morning. This will give both of you time to adjust. If you are able, you could even start a new…, 6. Listen to your child, Ask your little one about their feelings about going to school and reassure them that it is normal to feel excited, worried or any other emotions. Starting something new can feel scary and big – but it can also be lots of fun! Reassure your child that you will be there to pick them up at the end of the day and talk about what those routines will…, 7. Have a good-bye plan, Saying goodbye can be difficult for both you and your child! When that time comes, try to keep your parting quick and positive – reassure your child that you will see each other again soon. You can even have a special routine that will help comfort your child: sing a song together or do a special handshake.
28 July 2023

5 ways to better mental health online

Being online can present lots of great opportunities to connect, learn and share what’s important to you, but it comes with challenges too. If social media or the internet has ever made you feel stressed, envious or lonely, or experience feelings of lower self‑esteem or social anxiety, know that you’re not alone. Here are five tips on how to look…, 1. Avoid doomscrolling, Pay close attention to how social media and online content is influencing your emotions, thoughts or actions. How does it make you feel? Does reading the news make you feel informed or stressed? Does seeing photos of your friends at a party make you feel good or envious? Do you check your phone first thing in the morning to learn about breaking…, 2. Be mindful, There are loads of great online tools and content that can help support all aspects of mental health and wellbeing. From meditation apps to help you relax and focus, to platforms that help you develop your sense of identity and self, stay connected and support one another. There are lots of great online learning tools where you can try something…, 3. Protect yourself and others online, Check the privacy settings on all your social media profiles. Keep webcams covered when not in use. Be careful when signing up to apps and services online – especially providing your full name, address or photo. If you are concerned about something you have seen or experienced online, you should talk to a trusted adult like a parent or teacher,…, 4. Choose kindness, Use social media for good, by sharing positive and supportive content and messages with your friends, family and classmates. For example, you could reach out to let someone know you’re thinking of them or add a positive comment on a post they shared. If you find yourself responding to a message or post with something negative, pause and consider…, 5. Stay present and connected IRL, The lines between the online and offline worlds can feel increasingly blurred, making it hard to live in the present moment and satisfy our innate need for human contact. Do you ever find yourself interrupting what you are doing so you can post it on social media, or scrolling through your friend’s stories rather than calling or meeting up to see…