Mental health issues are all too common in today’s world. While some issues are genetic and unavoidable, others come about due to the environment the person is brought up in. Therefore, parents can do a lot to affect their children’s mental health.
There are several things a parent can do to ensure their child grows up mentally healthy and happy. Here are a few suggestions.
Recommend Healthy Coping Activities
You can start your child off on the right foot by encouraging them to engage in healthy coping activities like exercise, meditation, journaling, and doodling. In addition to recommending these activities to your child, you should also practice them on your own or with your child. Parent-child meditation can be a great bonding experience.
Watch for Behavioral Changes
Your child may not open up to you if they are dealing with issues that affect their mental health. Instead, they may display changes in behavior such as withdrawing from society or becoming more agitated than usual. If you notice these changes, talk to your child to find out what’s really going on.
Promote Honesty and Communication
Let your child know that you will always be there for them as a sounding board. Promote openness and honesty and make them aware that you will not be judgmental of their thoughts and actions. It’s important to not only make these policies clear, but to enforce them when your child wants to talk.
Create a Routine
A routine may seem like another source of stress, but it will work to relieve anxiety in the long run. Parents should set a clear routine that involves eating, sleeping, and doing homework at a certain time every day. In addition to reducing stress, this will also set clear boundaries minimizing the likelihood of arguments.
Provide Positive Feedback
Parents will often admonish their children if they do something wrong, but they should also congratulate them for the positive things they do. This will instill them with feelings of self-confidence that will stay with them throughout their lives.
Involve Them in Decision Making
It’s important to let your child know they have a voice in the family’s decision-making processes. Going on vacation? Ask your child where they’d like to go. Making dinner? Ask your child what they’d like to eat. This is another way to increase your child’s feelings of self-worth.
Get Professional Help if Necessary
While being there for your child can go a long way, there are certain issues that need to be treated by a professional. If this is the case, let your child know they can feel comfortable reaching out. Discuss treatment options with them so they can be proactive in their healing process.
Mental health issues can be trying for parents and children. Promoting communication, setting a routine, and recommending healthy activities will be beneficial for the whole family. Here’s wishing optimal wellness for you and yours.