"We need to sit and talk..."
The dreaded words that strike fear into the heart of anyone who's ever heard them....
and then what do we say....?
"Are you OK ? "
Well we've all been there....
But supporting someone doesn't always have to be hard work....
It's August 2022
We are half way through the school holidays already. It's ok though, there is still enough time left to squeeze as much enjoyment out of it as we can, but attention will soon be turning back to term-time.
Whilst some may be looking forward to it, the return to school can be a worry for many, and yet we probably don't want to think about it yet. The sun is still shining.
Now I don't want to be THAT GUY - who's already banging on about the end of the holidays, but as we all know and before we know it, we'll be back to the daily grind once more.....
and that all important chance to 'check in' will compromised.
So that's my question....
How many of us have used this time off, to pause, and check in with our kids about how they are feeling about things?
It can be a hard thing to do. That "let's sit and talk" conversation. It's never an easy one is it !
It's perhaps more important than ever that we are able to pause, ask, and listen.
Over a half of young people struggle with anxiety
Over 400,000 young people in the UK, and being treated for mental health issues
Talking about feelings and emotions can be hard at the best of times, but as adults, it's our responsibility to ensure we create the best time, the best space and the best environment, to talk with and really listen to, our children.
So how can we make that difficult conversation just a little easier?
With a little game called " The 6 Card Shuffle" and I've just spoken about it on BBC Radio Stoke. I'll post the clip below.
All you need, are 2 people, 6 pieces of paper or card and 6 questions, one written on each card.
The rules are very simple. There are only 6 :
Rule 1 - Shuffle the cards
Rule 2 - Place them face down
Rule 3 - Youngest goes first. Take it in turns and when it's your turn, pick up a card.
Rule 4 - You must ask the question on the card and the other person must answer it.
Rule 5 - You have to be prepared to answer it too.
Rule 6 - Be honest, be brave and have some fun if you feel like it.
If you wondering what questions to ask, don't worry!
Here are 6 of them just to get you started. You don't have to stick to these, you can write your own, and get the kids to write some too. Just try to keep them, open and make them interesting. Closed questions don't work quite so well!
Question 1 :
Tell me 2 emotions that you felt today and why.
Question 2 :
How easy do you find falling asleep at night?
Question 3 :
Which of your friends do you think I'd like the most and why?
Question 4 :
What achievement are you most proud of and why?
Question 5 :
How would you change the world if you could?
Question 6 :
If one of your friends were stressed or anxious, how would you help them?
So that's it...."The 6 card shuffle"
It's probably the simplest game you'll ever play, but it's also one of the hardest to master, because it requires openness, honesty and integrity. The very things that as adults, we should all want to nurture in our children.
Try it before they all head off back to school. You never know what you might learn.
Thanks once again to the team at BBC Radio Stoke.
You can hear the clip here...