Helping Pupils to Overcome Anxiety – The Knot by Helen Cousin
Children often ‘bottle up’ their worries, which can then sometimes get out of proportion. If this thinking pattern becomes habitual it will carry on into adult life. Carl Rogers, a pioneer of humanistic psychology, along with others in the field, emphasized the importance of working with feelings or mood. His views have had a universal impact on education. His research and practice revealed that if feelings or mood could be recognized by the individual and integrated as valuable, normal, aspects of experience, then behavioural change could result. So if parents and teachers can help children to acknowledge some of their worries they can help to dissipate their impact.
Following the tragic suicide of her sixteen-year-old daughter in 2017, Helen Cousin set to work on a book to try to help younger children deal with early feelings of anxiety. The teaching assistant, from Misterton, said: “There’s so much pressure on children to do well in school. I just think that children can’t be children any more and that’s sad.” Helen wanted to create a resource to help parents and teachers to communicate with their children.
“The Knot” by Helen Cousins, is a book of colourful verse, written for pupils in Key Stage 1 and 2 to help them acknowledge their own anxieties and understand that it is quite normal to have worries. The beautiful illustrations and colourful verses help young children to identify these feelings.
To find out more about Helen’s story, and to watch a short video about her, go to the BBC News website.
There is evidence that emotional mental health disorders are on the rise for children and young people. We take a look at the latest statistics here, before discussing how far mindfulness can help to reduce the impact of mental ill health.
Earlier this year we serialised our guide to introducing Growth Mindset in primary schools, written by mindset expert, Ross McWilliam. We’ve now collected them together to create The PTS Growth Mindset Guide, which you can download in PDF format here.