By: Shailyn Murray
Well-being: Addresses the importance of physical and mental health and wellness. It incorporates capacities such as self-care, sense of self, and self-regulation skills.
A study done by Ontario's Policy Framework for Child and Youth Mental Health reported that 15-21% of children and youth have at least one mental health disorder.
While it is important for everyone to have a healthy well-being, we should work from the bottom up. This means, focus on the children and it will carry on for generations to come.
A child's well-being is so important not only for them in the present but also, in the future. A child who has poor nutrition and sleep, low levels of physical activity, and constant stress are at great risk of later health problems, including but not limited to, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and anxiety.
By working with the children and their families in an appropriate manner and with the correct tools and supports, this cycle of poor well-being can come to an end. By developing programs, and setting up systems can help the children get back on track to living a long and healthy life.
How Can We Help?
- Providing nutritious food and beverages that incorporate family and cultural preferences
- Creating positive eating environments with foods and portion sizes that are responsive to children's cues of hunger and fullness
- Increasing children's physical activity and decreasing the amount of time spent in sedentary activities
- Respecting and finding ways to support each child's varied psychological and biological rhythms and needs for active play, rest, and quiet time
How can educators help promote healthy self-regulation?
- Provide an environment that reduces stressors while recognizing and supporting children's efforts and increasing ability to self-regulate
- Be responsive and aware to individual cues, arousal states, and responses to various stressors
- Help children learn strategies for becoming or staying calm and focused by enabling them to recognize and modulate their emotional states and impulses and become more aware of the effects of their actions on others
Playground & Physical Activity
- Find out the age range of the children
- Plan accordingly. For the younger ages, the playground might just consist of a sandbox and an area for running/playing. For the older age groups, there might be a playground that has the typical monkey bars/swing-set, but also include a grass area for sports, and/or an area that is a sort of habitat that can teach the children about plants and/or insects/small animals.
Mental Health & Wellness
- Becoming aware of and connecting with community organizations that provide information and support
- Integrating practices that children and families with mental health disorders are included and accepted
- Taking a strength-based approach, recognizing and valuing the capacities that families have, while supporting them in accessing supports they need
How can the program help these children and their families?
- Can serve as a buffer for children who are experiencing temporary or long-term, persistent stress by establishing responsive, nurturing and stable relationships with children and their families
- By strengthening the capacities of the adults who care for the children, it can help reduce vulnerability for the children and for themselves.
Course Code: CHLD 1302
Date: Monday March 21, 2016
How Does Learning Happen?. 1st ed. Queens, ON: The Ontario Public Service, 2014. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.