I think we can all agree that it’s not just the adults that have felt the brunt of the pandemic, but children as well. Not being able to go to school or nursery for months, not seeing their friends, no interaction at playgrounds & clubs, no birthday parties or playdates has been hard on the youngsters, whether they are still quite small or have entered their teen years. So when I was approached by child psychologist Dr Gail Sinitsky, who recently launched “Mighty Cards“, I was intrigued by her 36 strategies that promise to empower the children and give them tools to deal with the multitude of tricky emotions.
Gail has been working as the councillor for charities, NHS, schools and clinics for the past 15 years, so she has seen a wide spectrum of children’s behaviour in her professional capasity & understands how to help them navigate emotional and psychological turmoils. She also has two children of her own, so can sympathise with other parents in a personal capacity as well.
Mighty Cards were launched in June with the aim to help children navigate a wide variety of their emotions & understand their feelings better. It is also a social business on a mission to promote positive mental health in children & help them become more confident when dealing with their emotions.
Gail is also passionate about supporting children’s emotional literacy, as well as fostering the feeling of empathy and ability to emotionally connect with others, be it with adults or children. Something we all can do with, as we continue to navigate the treacherously unpredictable road of the pandemic.
Confident, well-adjusted children are bound to deal better with the problems, crisis and challenges that daily life will present them with.
The cards are primarily aimed at children aged 4 – 11. In my household my eldest decided to abstain from using the cards for the time being, giving preference to his Happy Self Journal, however my daughter was eager to give them a go. I received a pack of cards from Gail a week or so again and we have been using them every evening since then. With the initiative to do it every night coming…. from my daughter.
There is no right or wrong way to use the cards. Just introduce them to your children in the way that is age appropriate and depending on their personality. Discover them together, in the morning before nursery or school or in the evening, before or after bath time. Use them as often as your child likes, but don’t force them to play with them. Once they are familiar with how to use the card, you can also give them an option to play with the cards by themselves or even with their friends.
The cards are divided into three types of activities:
- BREATH: breathing strategies to calm the body and focus the mind
- CREATE: activities to build a sense of calm and control
- MOVE: physical exercises to help relieve tension from the body
Our feelings are like days – unpredictable in a multitude of ways. But while we as adults know how to control or at least recognise our emotions, children might struggle to make sense of them. Now more than ever they can feel the stronger vibes of anger, sadness, anxiousness, frustration… all of which can weigh heavily on their developing minds. So in order to address the physical discomfort of emotions, just see if over time kids can be encouraged to reach for the cards before the strength of the negative emotion escalates.
When I use them with my daughter, I let her choose which of of the three activities she is drawn to the most in the moment and time and then we follow the instructions together. We put sea shells and rocks found on the beaches this summer to good use during the “Special Stone” exercise, loved doing “Square Breathing” – try the circle shape, we found it very calming (om) & in case of the “Teddy Tummy” we put other members of our toy household to good use. “Jungle Walk” is bound to make you laugh – for some reason I always think of Baloo, “Glow Bugs” bring Pixar’s Brave to mind and “Rock It” wouldn’t be out of place at an adult yoga class .)
I also want to spotlight the wonderful illustrations on the cards, that are absolutely charming and bring additional positive vibes into your home – something we all value and appreciate more than ever. So do give the Mighty Cards a go and see if they make a difference to how your child feels about life, on good days and the ones that might be dark, like the depth of winter. We are definitely giving them thumbs up!
To find out more about MIGHTY Cards, Dr. Gail Sinitsky or to order a pack of cards that cost £15.99 please click here