Children are always learning, especially while they’re at home. Parents introduce their kids to new concepts every day through activities, books and more. Anyone can teach young kids about mental wellness to prepare them for their futures as independent adults and make life better for them right now. Read on to learn how to support your child’s mental health this fall and show them how to thrive.
1. Ask About Their Day
Going back to school is stressful. Even the most excited young students may dread sitting in the classroom all day or making new friends. Make a purposeful effort to ask about your child’s day every time they get home from school. They’ll know you want to listen to the good and bad parts equally, which gives every parent the chance to identify mental health struggles a child might not know how to recognize or describe.
2. Keep Your Eyes Open
Kids don’t always have the vocabulary to describe what they’re experiencing. They might also feel pressured to stay silent about fears concerning bullying or stress from social isolation. You can support your child’s mental health this fall by keeping your eyes open.
Look for signs of childhood anxiety that might frequently occur, like:
- Outbursts of anger
- Chewing on fingernails
- Feeling too exhausted to do anything
They might open up with a bit of gentle prompting. Ask your child why they’re feeling that way or when they started their new habit. They’ll likely talk about something that’s bothering them that they may have kept silent about otherwise.
3. Set Up Recurring Playdates
School makes family schedules much busier during the fall, but don’t forget about the importance of playdates. After-school playdates with friends allow kids to enjoy making memories with their favorite people. They’ll deal with less isolation and depression if they know they can hang out with their best friend after finishing their homework.
4. Schedule Regular Downtime
It’s tempting to fill your daily schedule with carpooling to school, fall sports practices and other seasonal activities. Let your child pick which activities they want to do the most, then schedule downtime for them in the middle of the day or before bed.
Downtime helps kids eliminate stress and improve their sleep because they can relax. Some kids might prefer to take a nap, while others color pictures for fifteen minutes or read a book. Let their minds unwind and their mental wellness will remain strong.
5. Talk About Your Feelings
When you’re stressed or anxious, walk your kids through how you feel. They’ll learn how to identify those feelings within themselves by your example. Follow up with how you’ll deal with those emotions or states of mind. You’ll slowly teach them how to take care of themselves when you’re not around, which they’ll need to become thriving adults.
6. Build Self-Esteem With Praise
Low self-esteem contributes to poor mental health. If you don’t believe you’re worthy of goodness, you’ll take every negative comment and event personally. It builds into severe depression that keeps you from enjoying life and it can begin while kids are still young.
Praising your child frequently is an excellent way to support their mental health this fall. Recognize their brilliance, bravery and perseverance to help them recognize it within themselves. A healthy sense of self-esteem helps kids become more confident and capable, supporting every aspect of their life as they grow.
7. Put Electronics Away Early
Playing hand-held gaming consoles or scrolling through social media on their phone might be your child’s preferred way to unwind before bed. It’s better for their mental health if they don’t access screens right before sleeping. Research shows that blue light from electronics can cause symptoms of depression if it disrupts a person’s sleep cycle.
Charging electronics in the kitchen keeps them out of the bedrooms and makes it easier for kids to read or draw before sleeping. They’ll get more rest and recharge their mental health more effectively without as much nightly screen time.
8. Cook Healthy Meals
Parents can tailor their family’s diet to treat or prevent depression and anxiety. Eating a complete nutritional profile every day will strengthen your child’s mental wellness by fueling it properly.
Researchers found that individuals who ate food high in sugar experienced more intense anxiety than those who ate low-sugar or sugar-free diets. Ingredients like sugar will inflame the nervous system and make it easier for anxiety to disrupt your child’s life.
Consider your family’s existing diet and restructure it with fewer processed foods and sugars. Including each part of the food pyramid will empower your children to feel better because their bodies won’t suffer from unhealthy foods.
Support Your Child’s Mental Health This Fall
Now that you know how to support your child’s mental health this fall, start using helpful tips like these today. Your kids may respond better to increased playdates, better food or even time to relax during their busy schedules. Try numerous tips to find what works best for your family and your kids will thrive throughout the year.