Learning Curve at Home

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Understanding Your Own and Your Children’s Wellbeing

Understanding Your Own and Your Children’s Wellbeing

Welcome to the Learning Curve. There is no silver bullet to caring for and growing your own and your children’s wellbeing. Just like the dashboard in your car, no single gauge tells you how well your car is running, but rather it is a combination of all of the important information each of your car’s gauges is sending to you. Wellbeing is very much same.

The gold standard model for wellbeing is PERMAH, and your own and your children’s wellbeing relies on a combination of all of them. A shortfall in one adversely affects the others, and in these current uncertain times, this could easily occur should we all not be vigilant. Furthermore, with your children at home with you now, their state of wellbeing will be very much reliant on how you role model your own wellbeing. As James Baldwin so famously once said, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” 

Let’s have a look at simple things you can do as a family to ensure each of the elements of PERMAH are healthy.

PPositive Emotions + Gratitude: it is the frequency of positive emotions, not their intensity, which has the greatest influence on growing your own and your children’s wellbeing. For everyone, social connection is the best way to achieve this. To self-generate positive emotions, try these things: exercise first thing every morning, text a friend who is struggling, aim to do three kind acts every day and facetime Grandparents.

EEngagement + Mindfulness: your own negative mind chatter, which causes you to experience fight or flight responses about being couped up at home with your children, will probably be the biggest thing for you to control and contest. Remember your children are likely to imitate you. To focus yourself try: create positive I can and I will self-talk statement to contest the negatives, colour in for ten minutes and breathe deeply and slowly.

RRelationships + Empathy: other people are the best antidotes for life’s ups and downs. While going out together and meeting in groups are not options, there are other things you can try: use zoom, skype and google hangout for you and your children to see happy and smiling faces, break out Uno, Scrabble and other fun games to generate laughter, have fun cooking up hot cross buns, and do Wellbeing Fitness Challenges together.

MMeaning + Purpose: in these times, feelings of vulnerability are perfectly normal for both you and your children. To relieve these feelings, having a strong sense of purpose to focus on something bigger than yourselves to devote your energies to, will assist. As a family, make cards to drop in the letterboxes of elderly people in your street, make happy and fun family videos, and as a family follow and learn about a caring charity.  

AAccomplishment + Optimism: to cultivate feelings of optimism in your family that together you can influence your own futures, set something to achieve at home every day. Try starting a vege garden with your children, paint a room or piece of furniture, do one extra sit up or push up every day, encourage your children to complete one thing at a time from their teachers or an online or journal Learning Curve wellbeing activity.

HHealth + Strengths: to keep your own and your children’s immune systems strong, focus on the big five – healthy fresh eating, one hour’s exercise, at least 8 hours sleep, drinking plenty of water and looking on the bright side of life. An uplifting family activity is to identify your top character strengths by doing the free online Strengths Survey at www.viacharacter.org. Everyone put their strengths on the fridge and try spotting them. 

Your child’s wellbeing is important, to find out how you can help build your child’s wellbeing check out our program designed for kids of all ages here: https://learningcurveathome.com/wellbeing-program-2/ 

All the best, Mick

Mick Walsh

Author, Educator and Speaker

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