How To Look After Your Child's Mental Health

Tips on helping your child cope with the challenges they may face.

Looking after your child’s mental health is as important as looking after their physical health, and should be taken seriously.  

There is a huge amount on mental health written in the media and it is important that parents look after their children’s well-being from a young age which will set them up for life. Depression and anxiety are affecting our young people more than ever and parents play a huge role in helping their kids cope with the stresses of daily life.

There are a few simple ways parents can help look after their kiddie’s mental health and while they are only small they are vital.

  • Give your child a good platform to bounce off and be a great role model showing them how to balance school work and activities. Encourage them to be calm and problem-solve to get through difficult tasks rather than give up and mope around after. Allow them to work hard but also to play hard by letting them play after school and have fun! Extra-curricular activities are a wonderful way to give your child confidence and lets them show off their talents. 
  • Be a happy family and let your home be a safe haven to relax and not for your child to carry stress or anxiety around the house. Give your child a sense of belonging, and have an optimistic view in your home which will allow your child to build strength and cope better. Ensure they feel loved, cherished and trusted by you and have an open policy at home that nothing is to be off the table and that you can talk to your child about anything anytime. 
  • Keep an eye on them and spend time in the evenings chatting to them about their day and what they got up to, as otherwise, you can begin to lead separate lives. If your kid is ever acting up out of nowhere, try to get to the root cause of the problem and talk to his/her school if needed. Never ignore an issue and hit it straight on and hopefully it won’t grow bigger while you turned your back. 
  • Stand by them in times that are hard. Changing school, moving house or a new sibling can impact your child and be more watchful of them in times of change. Help them in any way that you can to overcome problems but encourage them to sort things themselves. 
  • Teach your child from a young age all about mental health and how it is vitally important that you care for your mind and brain just as they do their bodies. Remind them that there is no shame in struggling at times and been tested is a part of life but it is how you go forward that matters. 

More importantly, if you are ever worried about your child’s downbeat demeanour and lack of interest in anything, talk to your child and a doctor. 
Keep the mind strong and stand together.   

For advice and support on mental health, you can contact the Samaritansor Aware

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