It’s no secret that children can be resilient. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need our help to cope with the challenges life throws their way. As parents, it’s our responsibility to check in on our child’s mental health daily, even if they seem fine. It can be difficult to know how to start these conversations, but it’s important to find a way that works for both you and your child. In this blog post, we will explore some tips on how to check in on your child’s mental health daily. From asking questions about their day-to-day routine to being there for them when they need to talk, we will cover everything you need to know to help support your child’s mental health.
Why checking in on your child’s mental health is important
It’s more important than ever to check in on your child’s mental health. With the pandemic, social media, and other stressors, children are under a lot of pressure. Checking in with them each day can help you identify any problems early on and get them the help they need.
Here are some signs that your child may be struggling:
1.Changes in sleeping or eating habits
2.Withdrawing from friends or activities they normally enjoy
3.Increased irritability or sadness
4.Poor performance in school or sudden behavioral changes
5.Expressions of anxiety or fearfulness
If you notice any of these changes, don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s doctor, a therapist, or another trusted adult for help.
How to start the conversation about mental health with your child
If you’re worried about your child’s mental health, it’s important to have a conversation with them about it. Here are some tips on how to start that conversation:
1. Talk about your own experiences with mental health.
If you have personal experience with mental illness, sharing your story can help normalize the topic for your child. It can also help them feel less alone in their experiences.
2. Use age-appropriate language.
When talking to younger children, avoid using terms like “mental illness” or “depression.” Instead, focus on explaining what they might be feeling in simpler terms. For older kids, you can use more specific language if they’re receptive to it.
3. Ask open-ended questions.
Asking questions is a great way to get your child talking about their feelings and experiences. Avoid yes/no questions, and instead ask things like “How are you feeling today?” or “Tell me more about that.”
4. Listen without judgement.
It’s important that your child feels safe and comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with you. Listen without judgement or criticism, and let them know that you’re there for them no matter what.
Warning signs that your child may be struggling with their mental health
If you’re noticing any of the following warning signs in your child, it may be time to have a conversation with them about their mental health:
1. They’re withdrawn and seem uninterested in activities they used to enjoy.
2. They’re easily agitated or prone to outbursts of anger.
3. They’re sleeping more or less than usual, and their sleep patterns are disrupted.
4. They’re experiencing a loss of appetite or significant weight loss/gain.
5. They’re having difficulty concentrating or completing tasks at school or work.
6. They’re using alcohol or drugs to cope with their feelings.
7. They’re engaging in self-destructive behaviors, such as cutting or burning themselves.
8. They’re expressing thoughts of suicide or making plans to hurt themselves.
What to do if you are worried about your child’s mental health
If you are worried about your child’s mental health, there are a few things you can do to help. First, try to have an open and honest conversation with your child about how they are feeling. If they are reluctant to talk, you can also try asking indirect questions about their day or what is stressing them out. It is important to listen to your child without judgment and let them know that you are there for them.
If you are still concerned after talking with your child, you can also reach out to their school counselor or another trusted adult for support. You can also look for signs of changes in your child’s behavior, such as withdrawing from friends or activities they used to enjoy, changes in eating or sleeping habits, or increased anger or irritability. If you notice any of these changes, it is important to seek professional help.
Resources for parents of children with mental health issues
If you’re a parent of a child with mental health issues, there are plenty of resources available to help you support your child. Here are some of the best:
The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers support groups and education programs for parents of children with mental health conditions.
The Child Mind Institute has an online toolkit specifically for parents of children with mental health conditions. It includes tips on how to talk to your child about their condition, how to manage difficult behaviors, and how to find treatment options.
Psychology Today has an extensive directory of therapists who specialize in treating children with mental health conditions. This can be a great resource for finding someone who can provide individualized care for your child.
It’s so important to check in on your child’s mental health daily, and there are a few simple ways to do it. First, ask them how their day was and really listen to their answer. Second, try to be open and understanding if they need to talk about something that’s bothering them. And third, make sure you spend some quality time with them every day doing something they enjoy. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your child is happy and healthy both mentally and emotionally.