From mental health to family connections, a lot of factors influence children and young people’s wellbeing and ability to thrive, especially in school.
A variety of people contribute to pupil wellbeing in schools, including parents, teachers, and senior leadership teams.
This guide breaks down the role that parents play and explains how they can positively influence their children’s wellbeing.
The term “child wellbeing” refers broadly to the child’s overall quality of life. This includes several aspects, including the following:
These factors tend to influence each other. For example, poor mental health can contribute to issues in school, and issues in school may bleed over into family life and interfere with a child’s relationship with their parents or siblings.
Wellbeing in the classroom includes a child’s physical and mental health, as well as how well they relate to their teacher and peers and how safe they feel in school.
Primary school children in the UK spend an average of 635 hours per year in the classroom, and secondary school children spend an average of 714 hours per year.
Because young people spend so much time in school, it makes sense that their experience in the classroom would impact their wellbeing.
Primary schools play a particularly significant role in shaping children’s wellbeing, including their attitudes toward school.
When primary school teachers, administrators, and others are engaged in their learning outcomes and care about children’s health and wellbeing, everyone benefits.
The following are some specific ways that primary schools and their employees can promote wellbeing:
When teachers and higher-ups in the school prioritise and strive to improve pupil wellness, children are more likely to succeed in school.
Regardless of their children’s ages, parents and carers should prioritise children’s wellbeing.
Wellbeing and resilience contribute to better social and emotional development. Here are some specific ways that this happens:
According to The Health Foundation, approximately one in six children in the UK had a probable mental health condition in 2021.
When parents and other key adults in a child’s life care about and work to improve children’s mental wellbeing, it’s easier for them to manage their mental health and develop coping skills to deal with stress, sadness, and anxiety.
When children are doing well physically, mentally, socially, etc., they become more resilient when faced with obstacles in and out of the classroom.
These children are less likely to give up at the first sign of trouble. They’ll stay the course and prove to themselves that they can do hard things.
If pupils know that their teachers, parents, and other adults care about their wellbeing, they tend to have better relationships with those adults.
Stronger relationships allow children to feel more comfortable asking for help, expressing their needs, and sharing their feelings. This helps adults provide proper support.
The more resilient students, teachers, administrators and others are in the face of stress and adversity, the better their overall sense of wellbeing will be. When resilience increases, social, emotional, and workplace wellbeing can all increase as well.
When parents, teachers, and other adults prioritise children’s wellbeing, those children tend to perform better in school.
Because they have access to counselling, tutors, and other resources, they experience fewer frustrations and are more likely to excel.
While teachers and school staff contribute to children’s wellbeing, parents also play a key role.
Here are some specific ways parents can improve children’s wellbeing at school and home:
One of the best ways to assess and improve pupil wellbeing is to speak openly.
When children feel comfortable sharing with their parents — this means sharing highs, lows, and everything in between — parents can gain more insight into how their children are doing. This helps them make informed decisions about how to best care for them.
Structure creates predictability in everyone’s lives, especially children’s. A structured routine can play a big role in helping children feel safe and secure.
When children — particularly those who struggle with stress and anxiety — feel safe and secure, they’re more likely to be mentally healthy. They’re also less likely to struggle with behavioural issues.
Parents can also incorporate other healthy lifestyle practices into their children’s lives, including the following:
These kinds of strategies improve physical and mental health. This leads to better whole child wellbeing.
Excessive screen exposure (TVs, smartphones, tablets, etc.), especially when social media is included in the mix, can worsen a young person’s mental health and wellbeing.
A study published by the Office of National Statistics showed that a child or young person who spent 3-plus hours on social networking websites on school days was twice as likely to report high or very high scores for poor mental health.
The sooner parents ask for help when it comes to their children’s wellbeing, the sooner they can access the proper tools and set their children up for success, in and out of school.
Working with therapists, counsellors, and other professionals helps parents to identify children’s specific needs. It also allows them to communicate clearly with teachers and give their children more, and better, support.
Consistent data collection and progress monitoring make it much easier for schools to assess pupil wellbeing and pick up on signs of diminished wellbeing before they have a chance to escalate.
A Wellbeing Tracker allows schools to send regular surveys to parents, teachers, and others to quickly collect data and automatically generate reports.