There’s a familiar old fashioned phrase that children should be seen and not heard. That children should be quiet and still. It was expected that there was no reason for children to speak in company and they were only expected to speak if they were asked a question. This was a widespread sentiment during the Victorian era of 1837 to 1901. I’m so pleased times have moved on a lot since then. I’ll be lucky if I can stop my two munchkins chatting every two seconds for breath.
In all seriousness, helping children manage their emotions is important for the development of children’s self-regulation skills, resilience, and sense of self, nurturing their mental health and wellbeing.
TV presenter, Charlie Webster, originally from Sheffield, South Yorkshire is known for her presenting career on Sky, the BBC, ITV and elsewhere. Tall, slim and long-legged, Charlie was naturally sporty, but refused to play for the netball team and became a runner instead. Charlie spoke to me about how running helped to get rid of a lot of her pent up stresses and anxieties as a child. In fact, running ended up becoming a huge part of her life.
Amongst other challenges in her life, Charlie cycled 3000 miles to the Rio Olympics for charity, before taking on some presenting work, only to become unwell shortly after arriving and rapidly deteriorated. Charlie was in a coma and on life support, and overall spent two months in hospital. She had contracted Malaria, as well as HUS, Shigella and Chikungunya. She was on dialysis in Brazil and after a month was transported back to the UK on a medical plane.
Since then, Charlie continues to made a remarkable recovery and has created an app called Powerme, which we are talking about today. It is a project very close to her heart and since her illness, it’s clear to see that helping others is an important part of her future.
Powerme teaches children to understand how they feel inside and gives them the skills and knowledge to cope with their natural ups and downs as they grow up by connecting the mind with the body. Not only will this help them now but Charlie Webster is confident that helping them now will have a long term effect in how they manage their emotions and behaviour as they get older. In short, a happier child leads to a happier adult.
Many of us can relate to times where we struggle to manage our emotions and there has been such a huge shift in the world on how we talk and manage our own mental health. A lot of this stems from previous decades of never properly dealing with emotions and locking things away deep inside our minds. I was overwhelmed by Charlie’s passion to ensure our next generation learn and have the tools to manage their emotions better than we ever did.
The Powerme app has specifically designed coping mechanisms through:
- Physical activity
- Poses which encourage the nervous system to switch from stress mode to relaxation mode
- Breathing and guided imagery to reduce anxiety
All of these aids can help your child to feel better no matter what emotion is becoming overwhelming for them at that time.
When I spoke to Charlie Webster about this idea, it seemed crazy that no-one hadn’t really thought about this before. I appreciate the iOS and Android app stores are full of amazing apps, but when I looked for something similar that worked like this, I couldn’t find one that was focused on the children. Along with imagery and coping mechanism they could use and understand, it’s a great idea.
Spending two hours chatting to Charlie Webster about this app which is very close to her heart was time well spent. I downloaded the app for my children and immediately told a few friends who I knew could really benefit from it. The app is a free download which is why it was perfect for me to share with all my lovely fellow Guilty Mothers!
Most children learn self-control, appropriate emotional expression and behaviour by watching and experiencing how other people manage their emotions and from their own experiences of how others behave with them.
Please download the Powerme app and let us know what you think. Charlie and I are looking to set up an event with a group of mothers to talk about the app, so if this is of interest, please direct message us or comment on Facebook.