Children’s Mental Health Week happens once every year, with the aim of getting children to openly recognise and talk about their emotional wellbeing.
The theme for Children’s Mental Health Week 2024 is ‘My Voice Matters’. As the name suggests, this year’s theme highlights the importance of children being able to express their thoughts and feelings.
At Fair For You, we help those on a low income afford the things they need as a not-for-profit lender.
So for our take on Children’s Mental Health Week, we want to focus on the link between mental health and money. Crucially, how to start off those challenging but important conversations as a parent to create positive habits for young people going forward.
All of which can help children to feel empowered about their own finances as they become young adults.
Talk To Your Children About Money
Money is often one of the greatest sources of stress. However, it’s really important to recognise that children are influenced by how their parents talk about money. So one thing you can do to help break down barriers with your child is to have conversations about how money works from an early age.
We have covered the topic of how to talk to children about money on the blog before. But essentially, it comes down to slowly introducing the concept of paying for things with money as children grow up. This includes talking about saving money for a rainy day and other healthy habits your children can benefit from knowing.
Some topics ideas can include:
How does money work?
How to earn money
What is a mortgage?
What is a credit score?
Why is saving money important?
How does paying bills work?
Crucially, we all know that money is easy to spend but when it comes to saving or even investing money, parents don’t always have these discussions.
Even if you have struggled yourself as a parent, you can still instil better habits for your children going forward through regular conversations about money.
Creating A Culture Of Openness
One of the aims of Children’s Mental Health Week is to encourage children to feel like they can open up about anything that is worrying them, rather than bottling things up. By talking and getting support, children have the best chance of becoming empowered young adults.
As a parent, you will know that talking about mental health was only something we started doing recently. But for your children, starting the topic young actually provides a great opportunity to encourage their health, happiness and wellbeing from the earliest possible age.
It could be the case that your child feels worried, but doesn’t know how to express their emotions. By letting them know it’s okay to talk about their issues with you, they are more likely to reach out for help when they need it.
Likewise, look out for signs your child may be struggling with their mental health. If children know it’s okay to talk about anything honestly and openly with you without judgement, this can promote a supportive and strong family unit.
Using Crafts To Help Children Express Feelings
One of the ways that Children’s Mental Health Week is recognised in schools is through crafts, along with presentations in classrooms and assemblies.
However, as a parent, encouraging your child to creatively express their feelings can be extremely effective at home too. There are lots of free worksheets you can download, or you can draw your own wellbeing charts. For instance, creating a chart on coping skills to manage different scenarios.
In terms of the topic of money and mental health, toys can also be used to interactively demonstrate how money works in a way that is more engaging for children. Overall, any topic can be broken down in a way that children understand just by getting down to their level.
Monitoring How Children Are Influenced By Social Media
If you’ve spent any time on social media as an adult, you will know first-hand that content doesn’t always reflect real life. We see celebrities in ridiculously expensive outfits and even are exposed to unrealistic filters which can make things more glamorous than they really are.
Unfortunately, children are very impressionable and may not know that social media doesn’t always tell the truth. As a result, they may develop negative emotions which impact their confidence and self-esteem across multiple areas of their wellbeing.
You might not be able to ban your child from having a phone or using social media. But something every parent can do is to openly talk about online content to limit the negative impact on their mental health.
Also remember that when we’re online, we are constantly bombarded with advertisements trying to get us to buy things meaning your children will be too. It is good to establish some screen-free time to give your children a healthy break from all the noise.
Preparing Older Children For Their First Job
For children who are nearing their teenage years, it can be really confusing, not to mention a challenging time. Parents may also feel financially pressured if children start to ask for more things, especially clothes or technology to keep up with their friends at school.
However, parents can make a really positive step by explaining to children how to earn money through working. In the UK, children are legally able to work once they reach 13, with conditions attached to ensure their education is still prioritised.
Keeping in mind the focus is on mental health, and talking about getting a job should never be about pressuring the child.
However, for some teenagers, getting a job can encourage a sense of responsibility and independence. If children are struggling at school, they can choose a job that will get the best out of them (i.e. practical skills) which can have a lot of positive benefits.
Any money children earn can be paid onto a card such as GoHenry to help them learn how to manage their finances and save early on. Longterm, a first job will look great on their CV and can help children think about what they want to do for their future.
Children’s Mental Health Week FAQs
New to the concept of Children’s Mental Health Week? Or want to be able to best help your child by speaking openly about mental health? Here are some of the top questions answered.
What Is Children’s Mental Health Week?
Children’s Mental Health Week is an initiative by Place2Be. Established in 2015, Children’s Mental Health Week happens each year in the UK with a different theme. The aim is to highlight the importance of young people being able to speak openly about their mental health and wellbeing.
When Is Children's Mental Health Week 2024?
In 2024, Children’s Mental Health Week starts on the 5th of February and runs until the 11th of February. Throughout the week, various initiatives and events will take place to give young people the opportunity to discuss their mental health.
What Is The Theme For Children’s Mental Health Week 2024?
‘My Voice Matters’ is the theme for the 2024 Children’s Mental Health Week.
Why Is Mental Health Awareness Important For Children?
Mental health is just as important as our physical health. It’s essential that children know how to access support for their mental health if needed. Awareness drives such as Children’s Mental Health Week provide children with the tools they need to recognise when something isn’t quite right based on how they feel. All of which is about promoting better outcomes for children as they grow into adults.
Fair For You - Supporting Low Income Families
We hope that you will take part in Mental Health Week this year with your children. That said, talking openly about mental health, including financial worries is always a positive step to encourage within your family at any time of the year.
If you’re new here, Fair For You is a non-profit lender. This means you may find it more affordable to buy the things you need for your home or family thanks to our flexible repayment system.
Alongside household appliances, we also have a Food Club Card which can give you up to £75 to spend at Iceland.