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Posted on 09/27/2021 in Confidence and Self-Esteem

How do I help my child grow up with good mental health?

How do I help my child grow up with good mental health?

Q:  How do I nurture good mental health and wellness in my child?

A: Mental health is something that the world seems to be focused on. It’s in the news, in commercials, and our social media. Celebrities and athletes are promoting and supporting good mental health. Self-care has become a topic of importance, and people are recognizing that the stigmas surrounding mental health need to be dropped.

Although much of this focus has been on adults, we can’t forget the kids and teens. Anxiety and depression in children is at an all-time high. This puts them at a higher risk for substance abuse and suicide. Children and teens in our families, schools and communities need support and encouragement from adults to maintain good mental health and wellness. And, it’s never too early to start focusing on their mental health and wellness.

As a parent, you can nurture good mental health in your children at every age, starting from when they’re quite young!

If you’re not sure how to do that, you’re not alone. Let’s cover a few suggestions you can use to foster mental wellness and nurture your children’s mental health at every stage of their lives. 

Model Good Behavior

One of the best ways to nurture good mental health in your child is to be a role model, yourself. From a very young age, your children are watching what you do (even if it doesn’t always feel like it). 

When your child is young, they would give anything to be like you. They’ll tend to mimic your actions, even if you don’t realize it. If you choose to make mental health a priority through things like self-care, deep breathing, and management techniques, they’re more likely to do the same as they grow. 

It’s also important to de-stigmatize mental health issues within your home. Talk about it as often as you talk about anything else. Make mental wellness a normal part of your conversations. As your child grows up and hears you talking about it, they’ll feel more comfortable opening up about it, too. 

Be Attuned to Your Child

From a young age, children express themselves through nonverbal reactions as well as words and other verbal cues.

As a parent, it’s important to pay close attention to all of those cues. Doing so will make you more attuned to your child’s needs. You’ll have a better idea of when they need support and someone to talk to. 

It’s also a great way for your child to develop a secure foundation. It can foster a healthy attachment style that makes them stronger and more mentally stable in the future. Showing support when your child needs it most isn’t spoiling them. It’s building stability that they’ll carry with them for years. 

Let Them Experience Failure

No parent wants to see their child stressed. It’s even harder to see them “fail” at something. But, distressing experiences can actually be beneficial to a child’s mental health—especially as they reach their teenage years. 

Failure can help to encourage resilience, but it also builds empathy. Encourage your child and offer support when they fail. But, don’t try to fix everything for them. Remind them that some of the greatest success stories ever failed multiple times. Doing so helps to build mental toughness, and it’s a trait your child can take with them into adulthood. 

Give Them Structure

From the moment your child is born, establishing a routine is important. Not only will it make everyone’s lives easier, but it can nurture good mental health. 

Providing your child with structure, no matter their age, ensures them they have a safe environment. It also places healthy boundaries while showing your child how much you love them. 

A child with a structured lifestyle is more likely to feel calm and secure, rather than anxious. 

Again, it’s never too early or too late to foster good mental health in your child. Keep these ideas in mind to prioritize mental wellbeing in your family’s lives. 

If you still need some help, or your child is struggling, feel free to reach out to one of our child counselors at KIDStherapyfinder.com. Together, you'll go over more ideas for nurturing good mental health, and how you can put them into practice immediately. 

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