Are Your Children’s Mental Health Needs Met?

Are your children’s mental health needs being met? Nothing can make a parent more worried than their child’s suffering. Whether it is their child catching a cold, getting bullied, or feeling like they’re not themselves, part of a parent’s job is to ensure their child feels safe and secure. Often physical needs like taking care of your child’s physical health or making sure they are consuming a well-balanced diet are put first, yet mental needs can be overlooked. Many parents find it hard to understand what their children are going through each moment.

Depending on the stage of childhood, kids can lash out depending on their environment or circumstances in their home life. As a parent, it is critical to note when your child is feeling mentally off and to address their feelings. Follow along for some tips on how. 

Two children sitting together, hugging and smiling showing symbolizing how important children's mental health is!

Take Care Of Your Mental Health 

First things first, as a parent, it is crucial you take care of your mental health to ensure that you’re functioning at your best self. Not only will you be modeling the habits for your child to replicate, but you will also create a healthier environment for your child. Children are like sponges, they absorb so much from their environment and the surrounding behaviors. The point being, your children learn from watching you, so make sure you set a positive example in dealing with stressful situations. Whether it is going to counseling or finding a treatment center online, like, seeking help is step one. You will be grateful that you took care of yourself first so you can give all the positive energy and time to your children’s mental health and well-being.  

Be Consistent 

Your children crave consistency. They crave predictability and structure. For example, they’ll want to know what activity they are going to do next, and what consequences they are going to receive if they misbehave. Not only that, but consistency with school and routine is so important. Getting a divorce or moving cities can be very hard on children, so that’s something to keep in mind. It’s common for them to withdraw, become anxious, or act out when they experience a big change to their typical routine. They may struggle to grasp their feelings on the new situation, therefore they lash out instead. As a parent, you can’t always avoid big changes or hard situations like this, but trying to keep your child in the loop as much as possible will build trust and help them cope with the situation, preserving your children’s mental health.

Teach Stress Management 

While it’s important to help your child avoid situations that cause them too much stress, it is nearly impossible to completely diminish all stressors from their life. So, it is best to help them cope and prepare for times where they will be struck with a stressful person or encounter. For example, they may experience stressful times with other kids or failing their homework assignments, yet have to find a way to cope with it. For some kids, writing in their journal can be helpful but for others, it means kicking around a ball or a phone call with a friend. Understanding the way your child likes to manage their stress is important and sometimes that takes trial and error. 

Develop Self-Esteem for Your Children’s Mental Health

Helping your kid develop their self-esteem is so important for children’s mental health. This can evolve in different ways, such as creating positive affirmations for them and complimenting them. The idea of positive rewards typically works really well. This means that when your child does something you are proud of them for or they successfully complete a chore you wanted, you make sure you encourage them at that moment. Rather than always mentioning when they do something wrong, complimenting them when they do something right will develop their self-esteem a lot more. Another important thing to consider is to allow them to be independent. As a parent, it can be easy to hover and worry about their safety. However, giving your child a little slack is critical to their self esteem. Children feel better about themselves when they are able to demonstrate competence. 

Play Together 

What’s life without a little fun? Playing with your children shows them you have a minute to spare to spend quality time with them. Putting aside your chores or obligations to play with your kid will make them feel special!  

It’s important to take these ideas to heart and support your children’s mental health! It’s never too late to get started.

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