These are anxious times for our kids, and they may need some coping skills, emotional support or just to vent! Some children don’t share their thoughts with their parents…especially if they are frightened, they don’t want to cause more stress. And let’s be honest most of us are feeling pretty stressed right


Whether it is how we are going to pay the rent/mortgage now we have been laid off or how are we going to cope surrounded by kids’ day after day. How are we going to stop them from killing each other? How are we going to keep
them amused and happy?

Here are a few ideas for you…

𝐂𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐚 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐤𝐞.

It’s a great and clever way to help children practice coordination and memory.

Incorporate noises, body movement, a mini dance-off – the variations are endless. The more elaborate your handshake is the more rewarding it’ll be when you’ve executed the routine perfectly.

1. Start with a basic introduction. A handshake, a fist bump or a wave.

2. Add a move that requires each person to alternate/take turns. For example: Stacking your fists on top of each others.

3. Make some noise! Clap out a part of Patty-Cake, using your voice or snapping your fingers.

4. Move on to the body movement. This can mean hip-bumping, a body wave or a dance solo.

5. Switch positions. A part of secret handshakes is showing how in sync you are with each other.

6. Finish everything with a rather mundane move to show how easy the process was for you. This can be a regular handshake or a walk off.

𝐋𝐢𝐬𝐭 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬

As well as helping children to learn new vocabulary to explain their emotions, focusing on positive emotions could also help them to get into a good head space, as they access memories of times where they have felt the emotions like the ones you are describing. A way to make this more fun is to pair them

Each pair appoints a scribe and then give them 4 minutes to write down as many positive emotions (one per post-it note) as they can think of in their Pairs.

Obviously, this can be done with a single child as well as pairs, just a bit more involvement from you.

When the time is up, they can then put all of the ones they have come up with on the wall. Get rid of any duplicates and discuss the ones you have there. If they have been a bit ‘low level’ and struggled to come up with words (e.g you
got ‘happy’ but not a lot else) tell them a story of when something lovely happened to you and make it full of very positive emotions.

Then repeat the post-it note part and ask them to include any words they may have just heard in your story.

Whilst this in of itself is not an NLP intervention, there is evidence to suggest that you get more of what you focus on, so building up a language of positivity might actually make a big difference to their attitude and perception of the