Bringing up children is a real rollercoaster, many parents worry if they are doing it right. Instead of striving for perfection, parenting is about learning every day, and plenty of trial and error. Supporting your child with their mental health is incredibly important, luckily, it needn’t be difficult with the help of these five tips.
1 . It’s all about the basics
If you want to support your child’s mental health you’ll need to focus on basic health practices. A bad diet and lack of sleep will leave your child feeling emotional and stressed. Ensure that your child eats lots of vegetables, goes to bed at a decent time, and gets plenty of exercise. Getting the basics right is the best way to improve your child’s mental health and wellbeing.
- Talk to them about emotions
Children need to learn how to talk about their emotions and accept what they are feeling. Ask your children to talk to you when they are feeling sad, angry, frightened, or stressed. Help them to understand their feelings and find solutions to feel better. Children must learn how to healthily express anger. They should understand that temper tantrums are not acceptable.
Some kids are shy and find it hard to express their emotions. These children will need space and time, be patient with them, they will open up when they are ready.
- Give them strategies to relax
We all need strategies to relax when we are feeling stressed. Children won’t always know what to do to feel better, which is why you’ll need to provide them with strategies. There are lots of ways that kids can calm down and relax including:
- Take a bath and read a bedtime story.
- Arts & crafts or drawing.
- Kids yoga and meditation.
- Play in the garden or take a walk amongst nature.
- Listen to relaxing music.
- Do a jigsaw puzzle.
- Chat about social media
As your children get older they’ll probably want to use social media accounts. You’ll need to have a chat to your children about social media so that they understand the rules and risks. It’s best to create a set of rules so that your children understand what they can and cannot do on social media. Talk to them about cyberbullying and encourage them to talk to you if they are feeling threatened or unsafe. You’ll need to learn about the different social media accounts that they are using, unless you understand these platforms it’s difficult to keep your child safe. Thinking about these things now will help you to prepare for your child’s future.
- Protect them from adult problems
If you and your partner are going through a divorce you must protect your children and their mental health. Try to keep them away from any disputes, and ensure that you get family law advice. With the help of a family lawyer, you can ensure a smooth divorce, protecting your children from conflict.
Focusing on these five tips will help you to support your child’s mental health. For further advice check out parenting podcasts like ‘The Parenting Roundabout’ or ‘This Glorious Mess’.