Over recent years it has become increasingly common to read articles about children’s mental wellbeing and the amount of stress many of them feel. Much of it is in relation to bullying or body image, family breakups or social media pressures. But a huge contributing factor is school, exams and tests.
This article was a typical example. It tells us that school staff report dealing with a high proportion of mental health issues every week, which is seriously alarming.
On a more positive note though, there is recognition now of an easy way to help alleviate these stresses the children are under. And that is to get them outdoors much more.
The Natural Connections Demonstrations project, has been a four year project to get children learning outside more. It has shown that their connection with the outdoors has multiple benefits on their health and wellbeing resulting in happier children who are better able to concentrate and achieve.
Whereas this project has been aimed at helping teachers take their lessons outside there is no reason why parents and families cannot support this initiative and get their kids outside during family time. This will help enormously to dilute and discharge stress and pent up emotion created from school pressures.
And during June there is support to help parents do this as the World Wildlife Trusts launch their 30 days wild challenge just ready for the half term.
This is an initiative to help families find things to do outside. And there are plenty of activities and ideas to choose from on their site if you scroll down. Not just for the children; but for everyone.
In today’s busy stressful lives it is understandable that we neglect to give time and attention to this simple antidote to those stresses by getting outside. Many would say they rarely have the time. But can we afford to ignore the warning signs as mental wellbeing dwindles – not only in ourselves, but in our children too?
The thirty days wild challenge offers an opportunity to address that whilst helping out the wildlife and environment too. The more the children are connected to their environment the more they will learn about it and look after it. And the biggest advantage will be that while doing so it will have a positive impact on their mental wellbeing and lessening their stress.