Although awareness surrounding mental health issues is growing, it’s still an overlooked topic. When it comes to children’s mental health, in particular, it’s easy to forget that kids can experience mental health difficulties as commonly as adults do. By taking a proactive approach to your child’s well-being, however, you can encourage them to take care of every aspect of their health.
With this in mind, take a look at these five tips to improve your child’s mental health:
1. Start Young
When you teach children about feelings, emotions, and mental health from a young age, they grow up in an environment that reinforces the importance of well-being. Furthermore, kids will find it easier to express their feelings and manage them when they’ve been taught about them.
Asking toddlers to describe how they feel is a simple yet effective way to encourage youngsters to link their feelings to subsequent behaviors, which sets the groundwork for managing emotions in the future.
2. Be Open and Honest
Many people are wary about talking to kids about mental health or even discussing it in front of them. Unfortunately, this can send the message that mental health is a taboo subject or that mental health problems shouldn’t be addressed.
Instead of trying to protect your child by shielding them, give them the tools they need by being open and honest with them. When your kids feel able to come to you for support or to ask questions about mental health, you can build up a valuable dialogue with them.
3. Seek Help
For many people, talking with a therapist or counselor is a great way to maintain optimal mental health and the same applies for children. Ad hoc appointments or even shared therapeutic environments, like the Eva Carlston Academy, can be a great way for kids to access any help they need.
When your child can share their experience with their peers and receive support and guidance, it helps to break down the stigma surrounding mental health and encourages kids to be proactive about seeking and accepting help.
4. Provide a Stable Environment
Instability can have a significant impact on anyone’s emotional well-being. As children have much less control over their environment than adults do, it’s essential that you provide them with the stability and consistency they crave.
Even when your family is experiencing difficult situations, such as a divorce or the loss of a loved one, make sure your kids are able to talk about their worries and continue to provide a stable home life.
5. Teach Stress Reduction
Stress is a normal part of life but learning to manage stress is extremely important for optimal mental health. Teaching your kids age-appropriate stress reduction techniques, like calm breathing or mindfulness, can be a great way to help them feel more in control and less anxious.
Make Mental Health a Top Priority
As we become more aware of the impact and prevalence of mental health problems, we have the opportunity to take action. By making mental health and emotional well-being a top priority in your home, you can create an environment that’s tailored towards enhancing both physical and mental wellness.