Well being…. What is well being?
Who are your well being coaches?
How can they support me?
Wellbeing is defined as the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.
Here at Little hands we are big believers of supporting people’s wellbeing. We have wellbeing coaches throughout our branches. The well being coaches are here to support each other’s well being as well as the wellbeing of children, parents and families.
We support staff wellbeing by giving regular open praise and feedback. We also encourage staff to take time out to relax and take part in different activities. For example, we will set the staff a task of completing a yoga pose of the week, to share a motivating quote with each other, to do a “staff shoutout” to offer praise and reflective feedback to others. Wellbeing coaches schedule times where staff can have 1:1 discussions with our coaches to make sure that wellbeing is a priority for all.
We also promote our own wellbeing and encourage others to consider theirs as we talk about positive self-affirmations and what makes us proud of ourselves. For example, “I am proud because I passed an online course”. Each of our wellbeing coaches has accessed training to develop their understanding of mental health and how this might look for each person as well as strategies to support. We help staff to understand that it’s ok not to always get something right the first time and it’s ok not to be ok. However, we make sure that staff understand where they can ask for support if needed and how to support each other. We do this through support meetings, coaching and mentoring, regular check in sessions and wellbeing action plans. Little Hands promotes a culture of solution focussed, strength based working whereby our overall goal is success for each child, their family and our staff team.
All staff support children’s well being by offering comfort, support and helping to narrate their feelings to enhance their emotional literacy and support them in gaining an understanding of their feelings. We use an approach called emotion coaching to support children. This is where feelings are accepted and labelled, support and guidance is provided and mutual respect is gained. Following this, we encourage children to reflect on their feelings to think about what they are grateful for, or what can make them feel better. An example of this could be, “You look sad” “What has made you feel sad?” “I understand. It is okay to be sad, we all feel sad sometimes.” “What do you think will make you feel better again?”
We like to use language such as this to support the children for them to understand it is ok to feel a range of emotions and it’s ok to sometimes not know how to feel. By doing this, children know that there are ‘safe’ people around to support and help them manage their emotions.
Although most of our time is spent with children, we also like to make ourselves available to also support parents and families. We pride ourselves on our strong parent partnerships and ensure that we are available for conversations and support when needed. This can be as simple as having conversations during drop off and collections, offering advice, signposting support or demonstrating different areas of practice at workshops.
We have an open door policy and always encourage parents and families to speak to us, email or call to discuss anything they would like to. We also offer support for parents and families with referrals for developmental delays or additional needs and can also refer to external agencies to support in all other areas.
Even if you would like to talk to us to get something off your chest, get advice or use us as a sounding board – remember, a problem shared might be a problem halved!