Getting stuck on sticky thoughts

Since having kids, we have been kidnapped more times than I care to think about and I have been held hostage forced to make terrible decisions about their fates. My partner has to keep a watch out for giant birds swooping down to carry the children away and a friend of mine recently admitted toContinue reading “Getting stuck on sticky thoughts”

Why we should embrace rather than avoid anxiety as parents

I’ve just finished reading an article in The Atlantic by Kate Julian about anxious parenting and how it affects our kids. It was really interesting and thought-provoking, it starts by highlighting how rates of mental illness are increasing among young people and starting in younger and younger kids. Most worryingly suicides and suicidal ideation inContinue reading “Why we should embrace rather than avoid anxiety as parents”

The Power of Routine

Clinical psychologist Dr Sonya Tsancheva writes about the importance of routine for children. Children thrive on playing games, exploring their environment and sharing their world with their peers. Alas, not so during the pandemic. More worryingly, the message “stay apart to keep safe” is too quickly becoming the norm. This can have devastating effects onContinue reading “The Power of Routine”

Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire – what does it mean?

One of the most common screening questionnaires for children’s mental health is the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). It’s used in research studies, clinical assessments, as well as schools to help inform Personal Education Plans. The SDQ has five subscales: emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationships and prosocial behaviour. There is also an impactContinue reading “Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire – what does it mean?”

Mental Health in Schools

It’s slightly overwhelming to think that about 10% of children or adolescents have some sort of mental health issue. And mental health isn’t just a personal problem; it affects families, communities and society in general. In school terms, that’s roughly three pupils in every classroom, and I’m sure many teachers know only too well howContinue reading “Mental Health in Schools”

Half-Term, Full Lockdown

As cases of coronavirus begin to rise again I’m beginning to get a horrible feeling of déjà vu. I’m assuming nobody wants to go back to a full lockdown, and although we’re currently being assured that this won’t happen there are rumblings of a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown during half-term – anyone else having flashbacks atContinue reading “Half-Term, Full Lockdown”

Children’s Mental Health During Coronavirus

The following is something I wrote for Shaw Mind in June. I work as a mental health researcher. That means one of my favourite things to do is look stuff up on the internet. And the pandemic has given me plenty of things to look up: signs, symptoms, restrictions, rules, not to mention an arrayContinue reading “Children’s Mental Health During Coronavirus”