Mental health still continues to have a stigma attached to it. In 2022 the world outlook has changed a lot over the years. As parents, it’s important to ensure that our children feel supported through each stage of development. Remember your child is not broken or needs to be fixed.
1) Let them know they are loved and supported.
For a child, one of the most important things you can provide is an environment where they know they are loved and important. As a parent you want your child to feel supported no matter what they do. Our goal as parents is to increase their feelings of security and learn to increase emotional intelligence. If a child has fear of sharing their true feelings then providing support can be very difficult.
2) Involve them in making decisions around their own mental health.
As adults, we feel we know what’s best for our child, and so children are often left out of the conversations. In general this works very well with every childhood development to build there own independence. Children are typically more honest with how they feel than just struggle to communicate well. We know our children best and can see if they are struggling with something in and outside of the home.
3) Talk about emotions and feelings regularly. Make it a norm!
Kids learn so much by watching their parents, including behaviors when it comes to emotional expression and regulation. In today’s time we do not want the internet to teach out children how to cope with their emotions. It is critical that we provide good examples on how to cope with the stressors of life. Set up quick times to check in with your children. Do not let a simple “fine I am good” work in your household. Role model the change you want to see in the world.
Now some cases are more severe than others. If your child’s behavior is to much to handle it is always a good idea to get a professional involved. You can always start with your children’s PCP or find a local therapist. There are so many solutions for mental health now.