Continuing on with my mini-series, sharing with you some of the great ideas and organisations I was lucky enough to meet at the Big Lunch Extras Swindon Roadshow, today it’s all about Create Me Happy!
I bumped into these guys who had come down from Wales for the weekend, and was blown away by the simplicity of their project, and it started lots of cogs whirring in my mind.
Set up by husband and wife team, Robert and Jane, Create Me Happy is a club where families can come, and simply play Lego, together.
This doesn’t sound that ground breaking, and maybe it isn’t, but the idea of the project is to help kids whose parents are suffering from depression. To provide the whole family with a space where they can come, and interact with each other, and talk, and find support.
I suffer from depression, and up until this point, I hadn’t really given a huge amount of thought to the impact that that has on my kids.
I am aware that I am not the world’s greatest mum, and especially when I am having down days, I am acutely aware that I am not giving my kids the attention and love that they need.
But beyond that I hadn’t really thought about any long term repercussions, for them, growing up with a mum who can be a bit up and down, and is sometimes irritable, and is sometimes not really that present.
And when I thought about these families playing Lego together, it made me realise that I very rarely play with my kids. I will give them things to play with, while I make tea, and do other things around the house. But I can’t remember the last time I sat down and played with them. *Bad mother alert*.
I’ve already suggested to hubby that at least once a month, we should get some of the huge piles of Lego down from their bedrooms, and sit around, as a family, and make some things.
And I really hope that we can talk and laugh and giggle together too. And re-connect with each other. And spend time, doing not much, in each other’s company.
Another thing that really made me think, was hearing about the colouring stations dotted around the room, and some sheets simply asking the children to draw a face of how they are feeling.
I realised I never really ask my kids how they are feeling.
And if they are crying or angry, my instinct is to get them stop, and to make it better.
I sometimes wonder if this is somehow negating their feelings, and I know for sure that it is not teaching them how to process these feelings, or how to deal with them.
This simple act of sitting down, and playing Lego with our kids is so simple, and yet so powerful.
Everyone loves Lego. It appeals to boys and girls. And works across the ages.
If something so simple can have a positive impact on the mental wellbeing of whole families, then even more reason to love Lego!
And even more reason to love people like Robert and Jane, who see a problem, and who decide to do something about it.
I’m going to give this a go in our house, and I’ll let you know how we get on!
PS. Apologies for the over-sharing about my failings as a mother….!