Mental health affects us all, including our children. It is our role to make sure that they understand their own mental wellbeing, and develop strategies for coping when they are feeling low. A private school in Kent has shared some advice on how best to support your child if they are struggling with their mental health.
Start The Conversation
Despite huge progress in recent years, some people still treat mental health as a taboo subject. It’s vital to open up the conversation about mental health within your family to show children there is no shame in admitting you are having a tough time. It is essential that your child knows that they can talk to you about anything, and will be met with patience, empathyand support. Set an example by discussing your own feelings and struggles, showing your child that it’s normal to feel down sometimes.
Establish Healthy Routines
Lifestyle can have a considerable impact on mental health so it’s important to encourage your child to form healthy habits. Begin by creating a bedtime routine that ensures they get enough sleep. Prioritise meal times and try to make sure what they are eating is nourishing and satiating. Exercise helps release endorphins and can help boost mental health, so make sure that your child has the opportunity to be active everyday, whether this is through after school sports clubs or even just getting out for a walk. Screen Time should be limited, especially late at night as it can disrupt melatonin production and impede a restful night’s sleep.
Seek Help If Needed
There may come a point where you feel additional support is necessary to help maintain your child’s mental health. Reaching out to your GP or a private mental health practitioner can help your child work through problems you aren’t equipped to resolve at home. Mental health is health after all, so seeking professional advice is nothing to be ashamed of. They will be able to suggest strategies or treatments tailored to their specific needs, and your child may even find it easier to discuss their feelings with someone impartial.
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