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Talking to your child about scary world news

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In this digital age, access to information is easier than ever before. While this has obvious educational and communicative benefits, the repercussions for an anxious mind can be quite serious, and particularly upsetting for children who may not appreciate the information as well as an adolescent or adult. Mental Health Foundation (UK) has put together a list of ten top tips to help you mediate ‘scary’ world news for children:

1. A news blackout is rarely helpful
2. Let them know the facts
3. Discourage overexposure
4. Let your children know they are safe
5. Let them know that it is normal to be concerned
6. Tailor the conversation to their age
7. Find the right time to talk about it
8. Leave lots of space for questions
9. Allow for repetition
10. Be as truthful as possible

Further detail about each of these tips can be found on the Mental Health Foundation article page: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/talking-to-your-children-scary-world-news.

Guy Winch on “5 ways to build lasting self-esteem”

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Psychologist and author, Guy Winch, recently shared 5 ways to top-up self-esteem, when it’s feeling low:

  • Use positive affirmations correctly
  • Identify your competencies and develop them
  • Learn to accept compliments
  • Eliminate self-criticism and introduce self-compassion
  • Affirm your real worth

The full article, including more details about the 5 concepts above, can be found online, at: http://ideas.ted.com/5-ways-to-build-lasting-self-esteem/

Does my child need formal assessment?

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Formal assessment involves the use of assessment measures and tests, to get a sense of your child’s strengths and weaknesses.  Early identification of learning disorders and developmental disabilities means that your child can receive specialist attention and multi-disciplinary support to scaffold development and meet your child’s developmental and educational needs

Signs that your child may benefit from a formal assessment:

  • Meeting milestones later than peers, or not at all
  • Carrying out actions in a repetitive way
  • Strong resistance to change
  • Little or no interest in playing with other children
  • Frequent aggressive behaviour: e.g.; biting, pinching, kicking or self-injurious behaviours

While some carers are reluctant to seek help for their child’s difficulties, a diagnosis can bring a sense of understanding and relief, and guide treatment and support from additional specialists. If you would like to discuss assessment, or to ask further questions, please contact me.