October 10th is Internationally marked as ‘World Mental Health Day’ to raise awareness and mobilize efforts to support global mental health education and advocacy against social stigma. The theme for 2022 is ‘Make mental health for all a global priority’.
Joining in the movement, aKINDemy, a unique children’s book subscription service, is focusing on ‘Mental and Emotional Wellbeing’ for October boxes. The books are helpful resources to assist children to understand their emotions, and how they can overcome or deal with difficult situations. Mentally healthy children reach developmental and emotional milestones and learn healthy social and problem-solving skills. Books are one of the most powerful tools to help with that.
In addition to a special curation of books, aKINDemy has partnered with The LightHouse Arabia to create conversation starters to assist parents in identifying warning signs if their child is struggling emotionally along with suggestions on how to create a platform for one’s child to speak when they are experiencing emotional difficulties.
Christine Kritzas, Counselling Psychologist at The LightHouse Arabia and creator of Smart Heart Board Game has shared the conversation starters along with age-specific activities for parents and children to engage in this month.
“Remember that emotional expression is a skill that needs to be taught to children, it is not a skill that children are born with. Yes, some children may be able to express their needs clearly. However, most children struggle with exercising this skill. The skill of emotional expression should be as equally important as teaching a child how to ride a bicycle or learn how to swim. The best way to teach a child effective emotional expression is to model it to them.” says Christine Kritzas.
Dr Saliha Afridi, co-creator, clinical psychologist and Managing Director at The LightHouse Arabia adds, “Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is linked to relationship satisfaction, leadership skills and optimal academic performance. Higher levels of EQ also contribute to lower stress levels, better social skills, less behavioural problems and better overall well-being. Given the fast-paced, technology-infused world we live in today, parents will need to be more deliberate and intentional about teaching and cultivating emotional intelligence in children starting from a young age.”
Boxes for October are packed with the most wonderful titles to celebrate emotional and mental wellbeing, aid in helping children understand big feelings and grow their empathy towards others. The boxes are further equipped with tools like expert curated conversation starters, activities, journals and more to help children understand their emotions better.
“To develop the ability to name and recognize emotions, children need our help and practice. It’s easier for children to practice when they identify with the characters and their experiences in the books they are reading. Well-chosen books help children explore all kinds of feelings and emotions. Book characters are powerful allies that often allow our children to relate to them or show a completely different point of view, therefore building empathy.” – said Agne Skutelis, Founder, aKINDemy.
Highlighting different societal and environmental themes, aKINDemy curates diverse children’s books to help parents raise KIND future citizens of the world. aKINDemy is on a mission to offer opportunities to engage children in important conversations, develop a sense of morality and help them grasp a wider sense of who they are, while cultivating KINDness, one monthly box at a time.