There are several ways for parents to nurture a child’s mental health, such as encouraging social connections, building a close relationship with them, fostering independence, providing structure and boundaries, modeling positive behavior, and teaching healthy habits. In this article, we have broken down the most helpful ways to improve children’s mental health.
1. Balance closeness and compliance
One of the strongest protective factors against mental health disorders in children is a good relationship with parents. Leading with empathy and foster closeness everyday can help create a healthy relationship between parents and children. That makes it easier for your child to come to you when they have any problem.
This tip can apply to older children and teenagers the most since they are more likely to comply with parental requests if they feel loved by and close to their parents.
2. Be intentional and attuned
Paying close attention to their child’s verbal and nonverbal is helpful for parents to nurture their child’s mental health. This helps identify when their child needs someone to talk with or when they need support.
Parents are attuned to their child means that they are aware of their child’s nonverbal physical and emotional needs and empathically respond to meet those needs. That helps children develop a secure foundation to flourish their mental health. Children can sense whether their parents approve or disapprove of them. When they feel safe, children can learn best. Therefore, teaching them how to identify their feelings will help you and your child go further.
3. Let your child experience distress and failure
Commonly, parents want to swoop in and stop children from experiencing failure or heartache. But those experiences are key to building children’s mental health.
Consider standing on the sidelines as long as your child is safe and be ready to support and encourage them instead of fixing a problem as soon as it happens.