Starting primary school brings with it a whole new set of challenges – coping with school toilets, new friends, new routines and separation anxiety to name a few. If your child is already some way through primary school there may be other stresses with friendship problems, bullying or perhaps anxiety about moving up to secondary school. Luckily there is a lot of support available for families including websites, books, videos, helplines and online chat options, so have a look at what’s on offer below.
- Talking to children about feelings: sensible and practical advice on this NHS page including how you might notice that something is wrong by the way your child is playing or behaving.
- NHS 0-18 years section on children’s mental health Lots of links and videos for parents. Useful green/amber/red guidance on what’s normal and when to seek help. e.g in the anxiety section.
- Families Under Pressure Check out these short top tips videos on help with difficult behaviour and help with negative emotions formulated by NHS Mental Health Experts.
- Keep CAMHS and Carry On A series of podcasts, some of which are relevant for parents of younger children, some older e.g managing challenging behaviour, ways of managing stress or ideas for mood-boosting exercise in children.
- Mind You: Starting School Great Gloucestershire website with a useful page on starting school.
- Family Lives This website has articles and videos on lots of topics such as making new friends, positive discipline, ‘pester power’, homework, coping with stealing or lying, ‘school gate culture’, and many more:
- Partnership for Children A charity that provides materials to build emotional resilience in children mainly for use in schools but also by parents. Downloadable activities for children aged 5-9 yrs on feelings, communication, friendship (including dealing with rejection and loneliness), dealing with anger and change. For example, there is a printable barometer for feelings of anger and activities that you can do with your child such as thinking about what makes a good friend.
- The Incredible Years by C Webster-Stratton for parents of children aged 2-8 years. Although this is quite a long book, it’s an easy read and very practical with lots of examples. You can dip into the sections relevant to you. Recommended.
- Overcoming Worry, Shyness, Anger, OCD and more by Dawn Huebner. A useful series of illustrated books for the 6-11-year-old age group. All are highly rated by parents and professionals and have sections for the child to fill in with their own ideas and examples. They are best read and done together with a parent. Often available in your local library.
- How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Easy to read with lots of illustrations and a light touch but sensible advice.
- Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival. One of a series of books, this book is about self-acceptance and is full of lovely illustrations and positive messages. Highly rated by parents. See also Ravi’s Roar, Ruby’s Worry, Tilda Tries Again and Meesha Makes Friends
- My Hidden Chimp by Steve Peters. Suitable for ages 6-11 years, this book can help children manage their emotions. Based on the Chimp paradox but made accessible to a younger audience.
School anxiety and school refusal
with illness, death
Tics and Tourettes
and low mood
Problems with toileting
divorce or separation
Encouraging good behaviour and habits
Long-term illness and mood
Internet safety, social media and gaming
puberty and sex