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5 Things You Can Do To Protect Your Child’s Mental Health

5 Things You Can Do To Protect Your Child’s Mental Health

5 Things You Can Do To Protect Your Child's Mental Health

How can parents protect their children’s mental health?

If you want to protect your child’s mental health, you need to teach them that they can come to you for help.  By building a trusting relationship with our children that promotes open communication, we can help them to feel connected. Studies find significant associations between children’s perception of communication with their parents and their subjective well-being. 

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5 Things You Can Do To Protect Your Child’s Mental Health

 

Listen to them

We need to listen to our children. Look them in the eyes, and engage with what they are saying. Soak in every way that they express to you who they are and what is important to them. Your attention will translate the message “My mom/dad sees me, I am Important”. This is a huge way to build their self-esteem and a positive, strong sense of self.

Talk about your own emotions

Sometimes we avoid talking about how we feel because we want to protect our children. I know, I did this for a long time. This doesn’t do that though, all it does is shield them from reality, and it teaches them how not to speak about how they’re feeling. This hit me one day when my son said to me “You’re not ok though are you mom? You’re doing that face that my teacher did once where you say you’re ok but I can see that you’re not”. If they hear us expressing how we feel, and showing how we healthily process our emotions, they are gonna think “It’s safe to feel this way, and I can handle it too”

Nurture yourself

There are endless benefits to nurturing ourselves. The most important reasons are that we feel stronger and healthier and that our children learn by watching us and so they’ll do the same. They’ll grow to learn how to nurture themselves and this will help with their resilience and bouncing back. Nourish your body, allow positive energy into your life, continue to learn about the things that inspire you, speak positively about yourself, and be thankful for all you have. You will feel great and your children will be inspired by the positive role model that you are. You’ll also feel better and have more patience in your parenting. 

Nurture who they are

All of our children are complete individuals who have their own needs and differences. If we let them be who they are and support who they are then they are going to thrive. And they’re going to thrive to the best of their unique potential. We don’t want our kids to wear themselves out striving to be the best at everything, we want them to be happy being the best at what they love, at what energizes them. This also includes noticing parts of their personality that are special about them and nurturing that. Is your child kind and sensitive to others? That’s a beautiful characteristic! Is your child good at taking the lead? What a wonderful strength!  Support your child to express themselves in their own unique ways and they’ll spend their lives feeling comfortable in their own body. We are all here because we have unique qualities, and we are all equally valuable just as we are.

Let them make mistakes

We want our children to feel safe to make mistakes. If you are there to comfort them and help them think things through for the future then you are helping them develop powerful skills. We don’t want them to be afraid to mess up or to feel self-hatred for making mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable, they help us to improve and to continually learn. This is one proper way to help our children develop a growth mindset and set them up for a life of believing in themselves no matter the outcome. We can help our children by accepting how they feel and gently helping them see the positives. Then we can help them figure out if they need to try again or walk away, depending on what’s best for them.

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