Nobody can deny that mental health should be everyone’s priority, but how many of us are actually taking steps to improve our mental health? Even though we are aware of how important it is, we can’t always focus on mental health and stability, so how can we expect our children to do so? If you’re hoping that your children’s mental health will be good, know that there are ways you can help them achieve it.
Be A Careful Listener
Being an adult is tough because there are so many things you have to think and worry about, and it can be difficult focusing on everything your children are telling you throughout the day. Still, you should never shut your children out, even if you don’t find their stories to be particularly appealing or interesting. Pay attention to the things that excite them early on and remember – if it’s important to them, it’s equally important that you know about it. Cherish the fact that they’re willing to share things with you and try to be a careful listener.
Never Judge Them
If you listen carefully, you will soon find out about things that are important to your children. Depending on their age, you might discover some things you might not agree with. Perhaps some of their attitudes are different than your own or they like something you don’t. Respect their choices and tastes, and don’t try to force them to like something just because you do. When they know that their parents don’t judge their taste in music, movies, books, clothes, and hobbies, they won’t be ashamed of their choices. If you’re not happy about some of their choices, ask them to explain to you why they’ve made them in the first place. This way, not only will you get closer to understanding them, but you will also help them articulate their thoughts.
Support Their Dreams
Do you know what your children dream about? Do you know what they want to do in the future? It’s of utmost importance for children to know that their parents believe in them and their dreams. It doesn’t matter if they want to become engineers, get an internship at NASA, enroll in Berkley, or get a degree in French literature – try to be supportive of their dreams and encourage them to apply for a scholarship at their dream university. They might not get in, but merely knowing that you believe in them will make them feel empowered.
Offer Opinions, Not Advice
There will come a time when your children will come to you asking for help or advice, and when that day comes, you shouldn’t act on impulse and tell them what they should and shouldn’t do. Even though you might be older and wiser, it doesn’t mean that your view of things is the right one, and after all, your children might not even heed your advice. This is why you should always try to offer your own opinions instead of advice. Even if you offer advice, try to make them see other options too and encourage them to make their own decisions.
Encourage Their Creativity
Stress gets to us all, and it can be really difficult to deal with it on a day-to-day basis. Even though children aren’t dealing with demanding bosses in offices, they have their own sources of stress and anxiety, and they often need help in order to deal with it. As a parent, you should encourage them to get creative and find an outlet for the stress and anxiety they are dealing with. They could take up a new sport, start writing a journal, paint or draw, take up sewing, or immerse themselves completely in the band they formed with their friends. As long as their interests and hobbies are safe and help them stay positive and feel good about themselves, you should encourage them to pursue it further.
It isn’t always easy being supportive and having faith in your children and their choices, but if you want them to grow up and be strong and independent people, you should learn to let them take control over their own lives. Tread carefully, be supportive, and encourage them, and you will be able to see them mature and grow up to become the best version of themselves.
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.