16 Ways Parents Can Help Children With Mental Health

by | Dec 17, 2023 | Children's Communication Skills, Mental Health & Wellbeing

Many adults struggle to help children with mental health because they make things complicated, busy and difficult. This creates a negative environment where children will find their own safe places to get away from the noise and do what makes them happy. Now how lovely would it be if the home was that safe place where a child could open up about anything. It can take time and a little effort from you.

What is important to understand is that we all have mental health and we need to do what is best for the child, to steer them away from mental health illness.

Help children with mental health issues

Here are some ideas that may just help to make things a little easier for you. Just try one of these each week and do let me know how you get on.

How Parents Can Help Children with Mental Health Issues

Really Love Your Child

Be there for your Child and show love and support at all times. Even if things go wrong, think about some time out before the discussion needs to happen. If you raise your voice, your hand and show anger to a young child they will feel that this is the way to behave as they get older.

Find an Activity to do Together

Encourage children and yourselves to play board games, do some gentle exercise and sport. Don’t forget to smile and laugh along the way.

Help children with mental health issues

Watch for Changes in Behaviour

Keep an eye out for any changes in behaviour, such as more time in the bedroom, not eating as well, always having reasons for not to go to school. They could all be a signal that something is not quite right.

Always Be Supportive

Regularly encourage and support your child in what they are doing at school, at home as well as any activities they are involved in. Get them involved in house stuff. Cooking, Cleaning, Washing Up, Putting plates in the dishwasher, Gardening and I am sure there are other areas they can help with.

Rest Time is Important

Help your child to manage stress by including rest time in their schedule. It can be hard for a child to go from home to school then back home, then homework, then eat and then bed. Encourage some rest time in their day to allow them to read a book, listen to music or even just lie down with their eyes closed for 5 mins. A pause in their already hectic day.

Help children with mental health issues

Feel Proud of Your Child

Do tell your child that you are proud of them and mean it. Not just a passing comment. Maybe give some examples so they know that you genuinely mean this.

Have Patience With Your Child

The world is already a busy place and we are constantly rushing to get things done. Don’t hurry or pressure your child. Just be patient as they may be learning something new, taking in the moment or just need things to slow down.

It Is Ok To Ask For Help

We often feel that it’s not good to tell people what is happening and ask for help. But we should not be afraid and in fact it’s better to ask for support to help children with mental health issues than deal with things alone. There are so many experienced professionals out there.

Feelings Are Good

Get to know how your child is feeling by asking them. Also, show them that it’s ok to talk about how you are feeling by sharing your own feelings. The more they hear you doing this the easier it will become for them to also share.

Help children with mental health issues

Education is Key

It is so important to educate yourself and your child about Mental Health and what this means. Remember, we all have mental health. It’s about how far left or right on the mental health continuum we sit. Don’t make it a topic that is not discussed.

Solve Problems Together

Get your child to help you with solving problems and being part of any decision making so they themselves can learn and can see how to deal with difficult things. Its a practical way to help them to learn this skill.

Really Do Listen

It is so important that you make sure that you give enough real time to properly listen to what your child is saying. Let them finish sentences and don’t interrupt them. Then pause, let them speak and you listen. Let them tell you what they are thinking. Let them find the answers and solutions. Don’t always tell them what to do.

Help children with mental health issues

Learn Coping Skills

Help your child learn coping skills for situations where they may hear the word No or have to deal with rejection or not get their first choice. It is very vital for them to be able to cope through life, as we know it can be difficult.

Watch For Any Change

Be aware of any signs and symptoms that may indicate that your child needs help or someone to talk to. It can often be dismissed as they are just teenagers, but there could be more going on. Don’t dismiss things, look for signs that you need to make action to help children with mental health issues.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Encourage conversation, communication and discussion in the home about all sorts of topics, even the difficult ones. Get your child involved in what you are doing and talk to them, not at them. Ask them open questions, actively listen to them. Put down your mobile phone.

Help children with mental health issues

Your Home

Your home should be a positive and safe environment for your child. If you can create this, you will find that they will come to you to talk, discuss and even ask for help.

Finally

Now remember, children learn and watch from you. So it is key that you are behaving in the way that you want your children to behave, especially if you want to support and help children with mental health.

Negative adverse behaviour can and will affect a child so please don’t shout, scream, hit and behave in an abusive way. This will never support your child’s mental health. You will leave an emotional mark that remains forever.

Support their mental health by using the tips above and here is an idea. Use them for yourselves as well.

© Sonal Dave all rights reserved 2023. No reproduction of this content in part or in full is permitted without prior permission.

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Public Speaking Expert & Trainer: SONAL DAVE

Communication and public speaking expert, Sonal, helps both children and adults communicate more effectively so that they have the tools and skills they need for better relationships and, indeed, for life.

Through her extensive experience working within the youth work, entertainment and business sectors, Sonal is uniquely placed to help bridge the communication gap between kids and adults.

Sonal’s exciting and engaging workshops and courses help people the world over reconnect and communicate so that they can overcome the barriers to success that have been holding them back.

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