1. Take care of your own Mental Health
One of the best things you can do to keep your child mentally healthy is to take care of your own mental health. Kids often look at us for inspiration and model our behaviour, if we are able to remain calm in situations they will also understand that but in saying that we also need to incorporate good habits early to be able to achieve a good mental health for them for example having good sleep routine, focusing on healthy diet and outdoor play.
2. Be a trustworthy adult
You need to be a trustworthy adult and what that means is do as you say and say what you mean. Kids need consistency and honesty. Its important to demonstrate to them that you love them and that they can trust you to keep them safe and healthy. This also means meeting their physical and emotional needs by taking care of them when they are hungry, thirsty, hot, or cold as well as when they are scared, anxious, or sad.
3. Be consistent
The importance of being consistent can’t be overstated. Children crave predictability and structure. They want to know what activity they’re going to do next, what consequences they will experience if they break rules, and what privileges they will receive for good behaviour. Life events can be scary for them if there is a move or parental separation it can be hard on them, they often withdraw, grow anxious or start acting out when they can’t manage their feelings. This is when we need maintain consistency and ensure they are informed on what to expect day to day to help them manage their feelings better.
If your child is struggling with mental health issues, please do contact us as we can help you get the right help that your child may need.
Lippold MA, Davis KD, Lawson KM, McHale SM. Day-to-day consistency in positive parent-child interactions and youth well-being. J Child Fam Stud. 2016;25(12):3584–3592. doi:10.1007/s10826-016-0502-x