A child counselling expert, Mrs. Lauretta Ani, has advised parents to encourage self-awareness in their children, saying, it is an essential skill children need to cope in school and beyond.
The professional, who is an experienced counsellor at Greensprings School, urged parents to teach their children how to name the emotions they feel and ways of responding to those emotions.
According to her, this knowledge will help children open up appropriately to school staff on the challenges they face in school, while they can also be provided with the required help.
Mrs. Ani gave this counsel at a parents’ forum recently held at Greensprings School, Lekki campus.
She said, “Many children have busy parents who do not have time to listen to them, so, they go to school with the mindset that nobody will listen to them because everyone is busy. This category of children suppress whatever challenges they experience until things get out of control.”
While she urged parents to take time to listen to their children, she stressed the need to validate their emotions by teaching them how to know what they are feeling and how to respond adequately.
“Parents should listen to their children and teach them to identify when they feel stressed or angry and how to manage these emotions. For instance, when angry, children should know that they can take deep breaths or engage in art or writing therapy to help deal with the anger they feel. They can only know about these responses if their emotions are validated at home.
“Children become self-aware by being able to name and respond to their emotions. This makes it easy for them to relay their challenges and feelings to school staff members so that they can be helped appropriately.”
The Counsellor therefore called on schools to play their role in helping children to be self-aware, by designing programmes that will reinforce children’s self-awareness; thus, complementing the efforts of parents.