Dr. Jonathan Hoffman
Caring for Your Child’s Mental Health
Updated: Jul 15, 2022
As a parent, you do everything in your power to make sure your children are completely cared for, safe, and happy. You give them good educations, do your best to ensure they eat healthy and schedule regular check-ups with your doctor, and enroll them in after-school activities that they enjoy. While that’s all good and well, sometimes, you have to take a step back and make sure your child’s mental health is in just as good of shape as their physical health. Here are a few ways you can care for your child’s mental health and improve their overall wellbeing.
Take Notice of Their Behavior
Any parent knows that kids can be quirky at times, but keep an eye out for any behavior that seems out of the ordinary. You should take notice if your child seems to be:
Feeling more stressed about schoolwork
Refusing to separate themselves from you
Appearing to be more tired
Only speaking at home or amongst those close to them
Having more obsessive tendencies
These behaviors are common signs of various anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder, and should not be ignored. Especially if these new behaviors are affecting your child’s quality of life, you should speak to a psychologist who can help get to the root of your child’s fears.
Help with Schoolwork
It’s no secret that schoolwork can be a major stressor in a child’s life. Whether it’s nightly homework or a big upcoming project, your child’s mental health can suffer when their stress levels increase. While you shouldn’t do your child’s work for them, you should offer to help when you can. Consider offering to help figure out math problems or proofread an English paper for them. Hiring a tutor may also help them feel calmer about ongoing schoolwork.
While it can help to have a routine with your children, doing the same thing day in and day out can become tedious and have your child feeling bored and antsy for a change. Especially during vacation times, take a spontaneous trip to the park or head to the beach for the weekend to give your child some surprise fun. Even something as simple as having dinner outside can help break up the week.
Meditation is a wonderful way to take some time to focus on yourself, relax, and remove stress from your mind. Try taking a meditation class with your child once a week to help improve their mental health and feel more relaxed. If you’d rather meditate at home, there are plenty of apps or online videos that will guide your through the meditation and make it a quick and easy task to add to your child’s morning or evening routine.
Learn Healthy Ways to Manage Stress
Especially for children with anxiety or OCD, stress can be a major detractor from positive mental health. Learn and practice several methods to help your child cope with everyday and anxiety-induced stress, such as exercising, reading, listening to music, writing, etc. Be sure to try out different coping methods to find what works best for your child.
Accept Professional Help
Sometimes, your efforts may not make as big of an improvement in your child’s mental health as you may like. If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to ask for help. A professional psychologist can speak to your child and analyze their behavior to help ease their worries and achieve better mental health.
When you or your loved one is in need of psychological assessment or treatment, our team at the Neurobehavioral Institute is committed to providing specialized services for improving the quality of life. Contact us today to change your life at its core.
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