My 7-year-old daughter stayed home from school yesterday. She’s at the tail end of a nasty cold, however she wasn’t nearly unwell enough to pass my strict sick-day checklist.
I know she would have coped with the day at school. Except, when I looked past what she was actually saying, I found myself hearing something a little different that morning. It wasn’t her sore throat, or some playground issues, or wanting extra time with me.
Yesterday, my daughter just really needed a mental health day.
As adults, we often realise too late the importance of nurturing our mental health. And now, as a parent, I strongly believe that this awareness needs to begin with our children.
Our children need to learn from us what it means to support their own mental health. That it’s always important to listen to their feelings. And that, sometimes, a little headspace is more crucial than a day of responsibilities.
So yesterday, I chose to look past a missed day of school.
And my daughter didn’t just learn how to cook lemon and poppyseed cake, she learnt that it’s okay to not always be okay.
(original post published 19th May 2016)