5 ways to support your child’s mental health

5 ways to support your child’s mental health

This week is Children’s Mental Health Week (7th-13th February 2022). As parents and carers, it is understandable to feel the strain at times. There are ways you can help support your child to ensure they stay mentally healthy.

 1. Be there to listen

By regularly asking how they are and encouraging them to speak about their feelings they will know there is someone to listen to them if they need it. Here is a guide to starting a conversation with your child: https://www.youngminds.org.uk/parent/starting-a-conversation-with-your-child

2. Take what they say seriously

Listening to and valuing what they say, without judging their feelings, in turn makes them feel valued. Consider how to help them process and work through their emotions in a more constructive way (NHS, 2021). The Anna Freud website offers a guide to supporting your child who may be worried https://www.annafreud.org/schools-and-colleges/resources/7-ways-to-support-children-and-young-people-who-are-worried/

3. Build positive routines

Trying to introduce a routine around a healthy lifestyle, such as healthy eating, exercise, and sleep, will support them in having good mental and physical health. For help on how to build a good routine take a look at this blog: https://haymarketca.com/how-to-create-a-daily-routine-with-children/

4. Encourage their interests

Being active and involved with your child’s interests or helping them learn new ones can allow them to meet others and be part of a team. Supporting them with whatever these interests are will help their mental health. Here are ways to encourage your child’s hobbies: https://stpetersprep.co.uk/other-news/how-to-encourage-your-childs-hobbies/ 

5. Think about their phone usage

Although we do not know the full impact of social media and phone usage on our mental health, what is posted on social media can be damaging for your child. Safer Internet Day was also this (8th February 2022), take a look at the Safer Internet website to ensure you are protecting your child online: https://saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/safer-internet-day-2022

As well as this, too much time on devices can negatively affect their sleep, which is important to maintaining good mental health. Here is a list of things to do with your child not involving technology: https://themodernparent.net/50-things-to-do-without-technology-and-screens/

 

References: 

NHS, 2021, https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/supporting-others/childrens-mental-health/

Children’s Mental Health Week, 2022, https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/

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