Relax Kids Hull & East Yorkshire has just launched in our area – classes, sessions and one-to-ones which focus on the mental health and well being of families and children.
It’s run by Louise, a very experienced Social Worker and Counsellor (I know her from her time at the House of Light charity). She asked if she could show me what her new sessions were all about and I jumped at the chance as, after the year we’ve had so far, I definitely felt we needed to spend some time thinking about our emotions and learning how to be a calmer happier family! So, last weekend Louise came to do an hours family session with myself, my husband and my 2 children. We explored how our brains work, danced, made each other laugh, blew feathers in the air and spent some time all thinking about how we can be a calmer, happier family…..
When I booked the session I didn’t actually realise the significance of the date – it was on 10th October 2020 which is World Mental Health Day, so a very fitting activity to do on that day. The session aims to build calm and confident children and get the family working together through 7 steps: Move, Play, Stretch, Feel, Breath, Believe and Relax.
We started by moving, jumping around and shaking our bodies to get rid of some energy. Next we all played together and had lots of fun passing a balloon around then making each other laugh, it was great just to all sit and spend time giggling together. As we worked our way through each of the 7 steps we became calmer and focused on stretching, feeling and breathing. Nearer the end we did the believe activities, creating affirmations about ourselves and each other about what we are all good at. This is something I have taken away the most, that we all need to be more positive and remind each other of the things we are good at. My son could only come up with being good at football when he first thought about it, but after talking together we agreed that he was good at being kind and at helping others (which I thought was better than just being a good defender!). Finally we all relaxed then were left to reflect on the session.
As we went through the session Louise described how our brains work using 3 animals as examples – a meerkat, an elephant and an owl. She explained how we can’t calm down until the part of our brain that makes us feel angry, cross or on guard (the meerkat) has calmed down, or how if we have a previous bad memory (the elephant) we can’t move on until it’s been dealt with. Then we can use our clever brains (the owl) to make good decisions!
This year has been unlike anything else we have ever faced. After getting through lockdown, home-schooling, working from home, and now the new fears of more restrictions again, we had been struggling. Tensions have risen, we’ve argued more and I think we all feel just rung out and emotional. I feel that the session with Louise has had a massive impact on us already. In the days since, we have been calmer, much less tense and, as parents, managed situations better when the children argue (I also seem to have consumed less wine!). I feel we have re-focussed and reconnected as a family and I’d definitely recommend Louise’s family sessions to anyone who feels they need it.
Louise came to our house for the hours session (staying well apart), or she does the sessions via zoom if you prefer, the session costs £40. As well as these family sessions Louise also does 121s with children.
From 6th November she is also starting weekly classes for preschoolers in Hessle, find details of those on Mumbler here.