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Courtesy of Gavin McCormack

“If we don’t put our childrens’ mental health first on our priority list, then we may as well be talking to a brick wall, because if our children are not feeling safe, secure, happy and loved, there’s no learning taking place today!”

Here’s how we can start to change our focus towards the mental wellbeing of our students.

  1. Actively listen before offering advice.
  2. Be patient with children, walk at their pace not yours.
  3. Share your feelings and validate theirs.
  4. Always tell the truth. Model by example.
  5. Provide an example of a healthy lifestyle.
  6. Follow through with your promises.
  7. Believe children and believe in them.
  8. Practise relaxation together.
  9. Acknowledge positive choices.
  10. Set boundaries and respect them.
  11. Limit electronics for everyone, including yourself.
  12. Observe them and try to understand their feelings.
  13. Have scheduled down time.
  14. Respond calmly when emotions are elevated.
  15. Be present. Give them your full attention.
  16. Model forgiveness.
  17. Use open ended questions.
  18. Teach children how to stay safe.
  19. Surround your children with positivity and encouragement.

With a healthy environment our children will grow into the leaders of tomorrow.

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About Kelvin

Kelvin Nsekwila is a practicing primary school teacher in Isoka District of Zambia. He is also the Founder Executive Director of a local non profit organization; Tusekwile Imiti Ikula Foundation (TIIF) whose mission is to promote quality education for the most marginalized and vulnerable children in his community who have no limited access to education by building schools and offering financial support for the young learners to stay in school. Kelvin is a young, passionate, motivated community leader who speaks to the students, adolescents, teachers and members of the general public on matters concerning entrepreneurship, Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights, early marriages, youth empowerment, spiritual guidance and educational leadership and management. Kelvin has also worked in the private sector as both a senior teacher and a school manager. Besides being a graduate in the faculty of education, Kelvin is also a pursuant of Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI Network) courses including; Understanding Human Rights, Community Organization for Action and Servant Leadership- The Deciding Difference. Kelvin has held a range of leadership positions in the education sector and subsequently won accolades including; Global Goodwill Ambassador- Humanitarian, Capacity Building for Sustainable Development in the Education Sector- Texila American University, Ambassador and Country Representative at International Youth Parliament, Country Head for World Education Community and World Literacy Ambassador. Kelvin has also undergone trained as a peace builder by the Rotarian Action Group for Peace under the theme of Non-Violent Communication.