Parenting is a rewarding journey filled with love, responsibility, and many joys. There is a fair amount of worry to contend with, too! As parents, we do everything we can to ensure our child’s physical health, but we can often overlook their mental well-being.
In this article, we’ll explore the signs that your child may need a little help with their mental well-being and provide practical and actionable ways to support them.
Communication is Key
Having regular conversations with your child can help them to be open and honest with you when something might be troubling them. Make it a priority to sit down and chat with them, either about their day or how they are feeling at that particular moment.
The more you talk, the greater the bond will form between you, and the more confident your child will feel sharing their feelings without fear of judgment. Don’t be afraid to share your feelings, too. Perhaps you had a bad day at work, or you’re looking forward to a family event coming up. Talk about the good stuff, too! Being open with your child will help them to open up to you in turn.
Practice Active Listening
Another wonderful way to build effective communication with your child is by practising active listening. This means giving your undivided attention when your child is speaking so that they feel valued and validated. You can also use non-verbal cues, such as nodding and smiling to encourage your child to continue expressing themselves.
So, put away that phone and any other distractions, and create a safe and welcoming space. That might mean piling up the cushions on the sofa and snuggling up together, or waiting until bedtime when your child is winding down and perhaps more open to talk about their day.
Check-in With Your Child’s Teacher
If your child is worried about something, there is a good chance they will take those worries to school with them. Indeed, their worries could be something that is connected with school, such as fallouts with friends or dreading a test. Sometimes, a quick chat with your child’s teacher could uncover the reasons why your child has become withdrawn at home or anxious about going through the school gates.
Your child’s school can be an invaluable partner when it comes to promoting their well-being and helping them to develop a positive attitude towards school. If you have any concerns, reach out. From counsellors to sensory rooms, schools are equipped with many resources today that can help your child to overcome their challenges. Also, ensure that you stay involved with their academic progress as falling behind can also be a common cause of stress.
Share Healthy Coping Strategies
Think about what you do when you are stressed or worried. Do you have a go-to routine that you turn to? Many coping strategies, such as deep breathing exercises, journaling, or engaging in physical activities can be as beneficial to children as they are to adults.
Checking in with your child can often be as easy as going for a walk with them, or sharing something you do to manage stress in your own daily life. Try to share some techniques that they can also use when they are at school to chase away their stress and worries. Exploring a new hobby could also be just the thing to help your child relax and unwind.
Create a Supportive Environment
Another crucial role in your child’s mental well-being is to ensure they are surrounded by people who love and support them. Encourage healthy relationships with friends and family, and create a sense of belonging.
Set aside quality time for family activities and prioritise your child’s emotional needs. In the busy family home, this can be tricky. However, something as simple as a spontaneous hug or a board game night can make your child feel safe and comforted.
Keep Up With the Latest Information
Take the time to learn about common mental health issues that can affect your child. From understanding conditions like anxiety and ADHD to researching sensible screen time limits, there are so many ways you can stay informed.
Also, stay informed about available support groups, for both you and your child. Be prepared to seek professional help if you feel you need it. There are many valuable offline and online resources designed to help you be the best parent to your child while also taking time to look after yourself.
How Tutor Doctor Can Help
As parents, we play a critical role in nurturing the wellbeing of our children, By recognising changes in behaviour to creating a supportive environment, we can make a really positive impact on their mental health.
At Tutor Doctor, our tutors are committed to supporting your child’s needs, both academically and emotionally. From helping your child understand topics they get stressed about to showing them ways to manage anxiety in the exam hall, we’re here to help. Find a tutor near you today and discover the difference private tutoring can make.