Dear Parents,

Mrs Hampton was delighted to welcome parents from across the school to her coffee morning on Thursday and would like to share the notes taken from the session with you.

Guest speakers, Dr Parnes and Dr Walker discussed adults having many years of experience of living in ‘normal’ times, but sadly for young children, the ‘pandemic’ years are forming a significant part of their childhood. Not surprisingly, the number of children and adults experiencing heightened levels of anxiety has risen dramatically.  For many, it is proving difficult to ‘dial back down again’.  Dr Walker stressed the need for parents to take care of their own mental health, to enable them to create a ‘calm’ response at home.

From our questions and answers session we found that in the Early Years classes, many children found sharing more tricky and in the upper school, particularly Form Six, pupils have not had little time to settle back into school, before being asked to focus on 11+ exam preparation. Dr Parnes explained that by just being available for children to talk to and feel that their concerns could be heard by their parents, was of huge benefit.

A parent raised the interesting point, that during the pandemic we encouraged our children to be ‘on line’ nearly all day and now we are having to take back the devices and limit screen time.  Dr Walker suggested it might be helpful to frame such discussions in terms of ‘differences’ – different responses are required at different times.

Miss Stock asked when and how parents should seek support when they have a a concern about their child’s mental health.  Dr Parnes said that parents just know when something is not right and that talking to their child’s teacher was a good first step. Teachers can work together with parents to solve and sort most concerns.  However, persistent patterns of behaviour that are of concern and not serving a child well, can benefit from support and guidance. A few supportive session or even a one-off chat with a professional mental health practitioner can avoid small issues becoming big issues.

Dr Peter Parnes and Dr Lorraine Walker can both be contacted at Psychology4 via email: office@psychology4.com

We hope you found these notes helpful and look forward to welcoming you to our the next coffee morning on Thursday 18th November.

With best wishes,

 

The CHS Team