As parents, there are so many things that your child will need you for in their life, from learning to take their first steps to support with their mental health. Mental health is one of those things that will need attention from the minute your child is born, so it is important you do your best to aid your little one through each stage of their development. Whilst in some cases, you may need to consult a professional when you notice your child is having great difficulty dealing with life, there are a number of ways that you can ensure your child is happy and at ease, especially when it comes to their mental health. By keeping communication open, modelling healthy coping skills and keeping an eye on your child’s behaviour, you will be on the road to raising a child with good mental health. Below is a guide, advised by this private sixth form in Surrey, that goes into more detail on how to support your child’s mental health.
Model healthy coping skills
Your child quite literally learns all their new knowledge from you, especially when they are little. One of the easiest ways to prepare your child for these difficult times is by helping them learn how to deal with their emotions in a healthy way by practicing coping skills yourself. You can take part whilst your child practices these coping techniques or simply talk them through completing it independently. Activities such as using stress balls, taking part in artistic tasks such as painting or playing an instrument, going for walks and deep breathing are all great ways for your child to deal with overwhelming feelings.
Be open and honest
One of the most important aspects of raising a child with good mental health is keeping communication open and honest. Some parents may struggle with discussing emotions, but it is worth noting that this mindset will only resonate onto your child and lead to very unhealthy methods when coping with emotions. It is vital that you create an environment in your home where your child knows they are safe to discuss any issue with you, knowing that it will be received with both love and support. By simply giving them the support without judgement, can increase the chances of them coming to you when they need help.
Keep an eye on their behaviour
It is relatively normal for a child’s behaviour to change as they go through different stages of development. However, if you notice that your child is isolating themselves or is not like themselves at all, it may be a silent cry for help. The majority of the time, children will do this when they are dealing with something they cannot process alone. Check in with them regularly and assure them that you are there whenever they need you.
Supporting your child with their mental health starts from day one. With these few strategies in mind, your child should feel secure when it comes to dealing with life and maintaining their mental health.