Children’s mental health is a subject of great interest and discussion at the moment. Every parent wants the best for their child, and they want them to be happy and healthy. In this guide, we’ll outline some effective steps you can take to be a more supportive parent.
Communication is key when it comes to building strong relationships between parents and children. Try to talk to your kids openly from an early age and encourage frequent interaction. As kids get older, they can become more reluctant to open up, especially if they’re feeling down or they have things on their mind. Try to gently approach difficult or awkward subjects, and let your child know that you are always there to listen if they decide that they are ready to chat or they need advice. Use the time you have together, for example, mealtimes, to catch up, and make talking part of your daily routine. It’s hugely beneficial for children to grow up in a household where communication is encouraged.
Carry out research and utilize resources
There is no manual for parenting, and most parents will find themselves in situations where they don’t really know what to do or how to help their child. If you have kids with additional needs, for example, or you are worried about your child’s mental health because they have become withdrawn or they seem down, it’s helpful to undertake research and to make use of resources. Speak to experts who could help you, join forums and groups online to chat with other parents and consider joining communities that provide resources such as ADHD coaching. It’s so important to realize that you are not alone and that there is help available. It’s also essential to understand that every parent faces challenges, and nobody is perfect.
Put yourself in your child’s shoes
Everyone is unique, and sometimes, our children go through very different experiences to us and deal with situations in a very different way. If you are struggling to break down barriers or understand where your child is coming from, talk and listen and try to put yourself in your child’s shoes. Imagine what they might be thinking and try to be compassionate, understanding and patient.
Manage your own stress
Stress can take its toll on parents and children. If you’re feeling stressed, your kids might pick up on it, and relationships can become strained. You might also be less patient and more irritable than usual. Try to manage your own stress so that you are able to devote time and energy to your children. If you are feeling anxious, you’re struggling to stay motivated, or you’re finding life tough, use self-help techniques to reduce stress and consider seeing your doctor. Parenting is extremely challenging, and sometimes, taking a break and focusing on yourself can have a positive impact on the rest of the family.
Every parent wants their child to be happy and content, but life isn’t always rosy. If you’re eager to support your child and nourish and protect their mental health, take these tips on board.