Understanding your child’s mental health has never been more important. No one knows the long-term effects of the COVID-19 and recent civil unrest on mental health. This holds especially true for children’s mental health.
How to Understand and Support Your Child’s Mental Health
Because of all of this, you may feel stuck about understanding best and supporting your their mental health.
Don’t worry! This short guide will help you learn how to support your child and begin caring for every child’s mental health.
Give Your Children Space for Sadness
Life as everyone knows it has been upended by a pandemic that seems to go on forever. For your children, this means a loss in time spent at school, time spent with friends, and even time spent outside the home.
Parents always want to prevent their children’s pain. Sometimes, though, giving your children the space to be sad allows them to grow more emotional strength and resilience.
Something you can challenge your child to do is to channel their sadness through their creativity. Ask them to write a story or draw something that will show their emotions. This is also one of the benefits of having your child talk to a mental health counselor.
Create Structure for Your Child
When you create structure in your child’s life, you help give them a sense of time and purpose. Setting loose expectations for your child’s day may help them stay focused better too.
Set aside plenty of playtimes too: all children need that! Better yet, have set times where no screens are allowed, so your child can have time to their imagination and be in the moment, rather than being inundated by social media or the news.
Tell the Truth to Your Child
Honesty in communication is the best policy for your child’s mental health.
Don’t be afraid to have discussions about recent events that are impacting their thoughts or mental health. Your children, though children, are not blind to what is happening around them.
Taking the time to sit down with them and speak honestly also helps your child know they can trust you as their parent.
Be a Model for Healthy Behavior
Your child is not a mini-you, but they do observe you and your behavior! To help support their mental health, you can model good behavior for them to follow.
Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Make sure you show your child you own up to yours and remain open to dialogue and communication. This helps your child build trust with you, as well as continuing to build their emotional understanding.
Support Your Child’s Mental Health
As a parent, you need to support your child’s mental health. Please give them the space they need to feel their emotions while modeling healthy behavior and coping for them.
Create a structure for your child, and allow for honest communication between the two of you. This is how to nurture a child’s mental health as mental health issues are rising with children.
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