The latest NHS data (February/March 2021) suggests children’s mental health is declining -which is why we need to work even harder to support our children’s mental health.
“Rates of probable mental disorders have increased since 2017; in 6 to 16-year-olds from one in nine to one in six."
So, what do we do?
Understand more about their needs
Recognise how and when your child is feeling happier and when they may be feeling more upset.
We’re all inclined to care for others in the way we would like instead of what is best for the individual. Instead, ask your child ‘what’s making you feel good today’ and ‘what can I do to make you feel better’.
Gaining a greater understanding of what helps your child to feel happy will allow you to do more of what works!
The more we talk about feelings with our children the more normal it’ll become. Before they go to bed, ask how well their day went.
Try to use open questions to allow them to open up. If you’re struggling to get an answer, try asking them to rate their day from 1-10 and explain what made it a good or bad day.
Spend quality time with them
When you spend time with your child doing something they like, you can help them to develop an attachment towards you - which in turn strengthens the relationship and builds trust.
When this trust has been established, your child should feel more comfortable and safe to talk to you.
Expand their vocabulary
More often than not, children will want to talk about their feelings but don’t have the words to explain how they feel.
It’s important to educate your child on all the different emotions to help them clearly articulate exactly how they’re feeling.
When a child can label an emotion, they will be more equipped to deal with it and ask for help.
Actively supporting your child’s mental health now will help them in the present time and in the future.