Parents are often responsible for their children’s mental health, which can result in struggles with anxiety, depression, and more. Depending on your situation and your child’s age, you may want to look at these tips on how you can help them cope with daily stress. Here are the seven ways to take care of your child’s mental health.
1. Balance Screen Time with Real Life
Most parents know that too much screen time isn’t good for their kids, but finding the right balance can be tough. It is because not only are there so many screens nowadays, but they can be hard to break away from. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents limit their children’s time to more than an hour a day on activities like video games and television.
2. Listen to Them
When your child comes to you with a problem or concern, you must listen without judging or trying to solve their problems for them. The more you listen and are there for them, the more likely they’ll open up to you with their problems in the future. As a bonus, it also helps them feel at ease with you so that they will come to you when something is wrong. However, don’t scold them for having problems.
3. Be A Good Role Model
If your child has difficulty dealing with their emotions, chances are it comes from somewhere. Maybe your child is easily upset and frustrated because they see how emotionally volatile you sometimes get when things don’t go your way or how frequently and quickly you become upset over small things like traffic or commercials on television. If your child sees you as an angry or unhappy person, they may follow suit and the bad habits start to become a way of life for them.
4. Encourage Them to Reach Out for Help
While it’s true that many kids don’t like to talk about their problems, sometimes they need to share their feelings with someone else. Try talking with your child and helping kids with anxiety or if they’re having any other issues or difficulties that might be affecting how they’re thinking, feeling or behaving. Sometimes it helps just being able to talk about things rather than holding everything in and beginning to try to self-medicate with drugs, alcohol or other things.
5. Offer Some Extra Support
If your child has a hard time at school or in daily life, it can be difficult for them to ask for help. But sometimes, they need to do so. Do you know that feeling like you need to scream, but you keep it inside? If your child is going through something like this and needs help, don’t hesitate to speak up and make sure they know they’re not alone. Sometimes, it can make all the difference in the world.
6. Look at How You’re Coping
Sometimes, parents have such a negative or stress-filled outlook on life that they cannot help their children when they need mental health support. Maybe you’re too hard on your child at home, which makes them feel like they have to be perfect all the time or that nobody wants to be around them anymore. Knowing how you cope will help you take better care of your children and show them that their feelings are important enough for you to notice and want to help.
7. Always Ask If They’re Okay
As parents, it’s important never to take for granted that your child is okay. When your child is acting depressed or unhappy, it’s important to know how they’re feeling and what they need from you. If you can help them by listening and being there for them, you’ll find that a lot of the stress will begin to melt away and your relationship with your children will become better than ever before.
There are times when there may be a medical reason for your child’s problems with anxiety and depression, but there are also instances when these problems may be due to day-to-day life. If you’d like more information on how to help your children cope with normal issues, feel free to speak with a child psychiatrist to learn the kinds of things that you can do for your child.