There is a misconception that only adults struggle with their mental health. However, with the pressures of school and life, it is no surprise that mental health issues can arise in early childhood. If you’re concerned for your child’s well-being, here are 4 ways you can support their mental health before seeking professional help:
If your child is struggling with their mental health, you will notice changes in their behavior and mood. Without proper care and treatment, mental health issues can escalate. Therefore, it is important that you are attentive to your child and see these changes as they arise. If your gut is telling you that something is off with your child, listen to your intuition.
Communication seems like a no-brainer, but is one of the best things you can do for your child if they are struggling. If you sense that something is wrong, encourage open dialogue. Check in with your child and ask how they are feeling. When communicating with your child, approach all conversations without judgement and practice active listening. Ask your child what it is they need from you and how you can best support their needs.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, improving your diet and exercising regularly can improve your mental well-being. If your child is struggling with their mental health, you should encourage your child to eat right and remain active. Prepare nutritious, well-balanced meals for the whole family. Find games or activities your family loves that you can all do together, such as going on bike rides.
For anyone struggling with their mental health, one of the worst things you can do is isolate yourself. We recommend you encourage your child to remain active in their friend group. Set up playdates or special outings for your child and their friends. If they do not have a group of friends that feels safe and welcoming, plan outings with neighbors or extended family. Children struggling with their mental health need to know that they are not alone — they are surrounded by people who love them.
Need more tips? Not sure how to initiate these tough conversations with your child? Our childcare professionals are more than happy to assist.