Brandwood Primary

Brandwood Community Wood

Life at Brandwood Primary

"This is a good school with outstanding features" Ofsted 2008

Support for parents and carers

The advice, guidance and information on this page is intended to help you support your child to develop positive mental health and wellbeing strategies. However, if you need any additional help with supporting your child or have any specific concerns about your child’s mental health please contact the school office on 01204 333444 and your child's class teacher or a senior member of staff will call you back.

It is important to remember that:

  • We all have mental health: mental health is about our feelings, our thinking, our emotions and our moods
  • We all have small feelings everyday: these can sometimes feel strong and overwhelming, whether happy or sad, but they go away before too long and this is normal
  • We sometimes experience big feelings: these feel strong and overwhelming for a long time and can stop us doing what we want in our lives so we need to seek help

One of the most important things you can do as a parent or carer is to encourage and support your child to understand and open up about their feelings and emotions. This can give them the skills they need to cope with the ups and downs of life and will enable you to support them when they have worries or concerns that feel overwhelming. Here are some ways you can do that:

  1. Make time to talk

Regularly talking about how we feel helps to make conversations about mental health normal. Anywhere is a good place to talk: in the car, walking the dog, cooking together or reading a book. Some ways to start a conversation about feelings might be:

“How did your day go today?”

“How are you feeling at the moment?”

“You don’t seem your usual self. Do you want to talk about it?”

“Do you fancy a chat?”

“I’m happy to listen if you need a chat”

“Is everything ok with your friends?”

“Did anything happen to upset you?”

  1. Take it seriously

When you are having these conversations make sure you show that you are listening to your child so they know you are taking their views seriously: use eye contact, stop what you are doing to focus on the child and ignore distractions. Do not downplay what your child is telling you and resist the urge to tell them everything is fine and instead focus on positive steps they can take to deal with their worries or problems.

  1. Look for clues about feelings

Your child may not always be able to or feel ready to open up about their feelings. You can listen to what they do say, their tone of voice, their body language and behaviours to give you clues as to how they may be feeling. Then make time to encourage them to open up when they are ready.

Some behaviours that may indicate your child is having strong feelings are:

  • Being quieter than usual
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Not sleeping, or waking in the night with bad dreams
  • Not eating properly
  • Quickly getting angry or irritable
  • Constantly worrying or having negative thoughts
  • Feeling tense and fidgety or using the toilet often
  • Excessive crying
  • Being clingy
  • Complaining of tummy aches and feeling unwell
  • Bedwetting (having been previously dry)
  • Avoiding socialising
  1. Respond calmly

It can be easy to avoid difficult feelings (such as anger, fear or sadness) but your child needs to be reassured that these feelings are a normal part of being human. Show that you accept what they are telling you but that they do not need to talk until they are ready. Try regularly practising calming techniques with your child and encourage them to use these when they are experiencing strong feelings, remembering that every child is different so what works for some may not be as helpful as for others.

Visit our Zones of Regulation page to read about some different calming techniques you could try. 


Advice on supporting the mental health of your child: