Sponsored Guest Blog
What is Calm Cats?
Calm Cats is a therapeutic service offered to families, schools, charities and children’s organisations to support children’s mental health, emotional health and wellbeing being through
- Breathing and relaxation
- Movement and music
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Imaginative storytelling and craft.
Through fun, activity-based learning (and with the help of Calm Cat) children are taught tools, techniques and Calm Cat super powers to help them
- Manage thoughts and feelings
- Regulate emotions and behaviour
- Develop emotional intelligence
- Improve focus and concentration
- Build confidence and self esteem
Teaching children how to understand their body and mind connection and how to respond to their thoughts and feelings is fundamental to social, emotional and mental wellbeing. By resourcing them with a toolbox of fun accessible techniques aimed at support themselves, Calm Cats is giving children life skills to build on as they grow.
Calm Cats offers 1:1, group sessions and workshops in the client’s home, a private therapy room or a public venue. Check out the Calm Cats WEBSITE for more info on how sessions run, or get in touch for a free and informal chat about how Calm Cats can help your child(ren) or family.
Sessions are suitable for all primary age children including nursery, children with SEN and those who have experienced early trauma.
Who are Calm Cats?
Calm Cats founder, Hannah, is Mummy to two scrummy children, 7yrs and 3yrs, a registered therapist, coach and qualified early years teacher (QTS) with over 12 years’ experience teaching children and young people in a special needs setting and who are unable to attend school due to medical or mental health needs.
Hannah works in collaboration with Occupational Therapist, Issy Southcott who trained at Masters Level with over 6 years’ experience working in both adult and child and adolescent mental health impatient services.
Calm Cat, is of course, a key part of the team and helps Hannah to deliver each session. Calm Cat has many skills that he likes to share with the children he works with and in return, the children love to have him at their session. We are currently busy working on some exciting workshops planned for the Easter Holidays. To keep up to date with these like and follow Calm Cats on Facebook and Instagram.
In the meantime, here are two activities you can try at home together with your children:
- Create a calm space. Most children love a den or a snuggly area. Fill it with cushions, blankets and teddies. Pop a music player nearby with some relaxation music, along with some battery powered candles or even a disco light and voila! You have the perfect environment to foster moments of calm.
- Breathing exercises. Calm Cats loves to practice these and his favourite is Belly Buddies. Find a favourite teddy or toy. Lay down and place it on your and your child(rens) tummy. Breathe slow, rhythmic breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth, watch your belly buddy rise, and fall with your breath. This is a good one for bedtime; your child can rock their buddy to sleep before settling themselves with their breath.
Why Calm Cats?
Because schools need it. Having worked in the education sector for a number of years, I worked with many students whom didn’t have the self- regulation skills they needed to be able to attend, learn or function happily and successfully in a school environment. Exclusion rates in Norfolk are some of the highest in the country with Norfolk SEN provision and support in crisis.
Because parents need it. I have met many parents who struggle to understand and manage their children’s behaviour at home. Throughout the school day their child copes, follows the expected routine, is compliant, on task with learning activities and appears to be ‘just fine. However, at home their child displays completely different behaviours. Defiance, aggression, tears, anger, the inability to respond to any request without conflict.
Because my child desperately needed it. As soon as my child went into year 1 he changed from a happy, confident, enthusiastic learner to a child I didn’t recognise. He was angry all the time, he worried constantly about school to the point he couldn’t sleep. He would call himself stupid, refuse to do any home learning, his self-esteem hit rock bottom. This was a little boy who couldn’t cope. Was he supported or given tools to help him support himself? No. This was normalised at best and punished at worst.
Because all of our children need it.
10% children in the primary classroom suffer from some kind of mental illness.
56% of children say that the worry about something all the time
And if that is not concerning enough this article in The Guardian outlines 12 statistics that are really frightening:
12 facts to get you thinking about mental health in young people
Contact Hannah at Calm Cats