20% of children are likely to experience a mental health problem in any given year. Although mental ill health does not always have an assigned cause, it can be triggered by all kinds of factors including peer pressure, bullying, social media, and academic stress. As a parent, it’s important you are aware of your child’s wellbeing and take steps to protect them.

Everyone struggles with mental health at some point in their lives, and it’s important you make your little one aware of the issues from an early age. This will inspire them to take charge of their wellbeing and adopt strategies that enable them to prioritize their health. Here are a few tips for looking after your child.

Be open about mental health

Traditionally, mental health has been a topic that many people feel uncomfortable discussing. It has been ingrained into our society that individuals, particularly men, should keep difficult feelings to themselves. But times have changed, and it is now commonplace to hear celebrities and everyday people openly chatting about stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression. Cultivate an atmosphere of openness in your own household, letting your child know it’s OK to talk about how they are feeling. Share your own present or past mental health issues if you feel comfortable doing so, and encourage your little one to do the same.

Minimize screen time

Spending too much time on social media is one of the biggest risk factors for mental health problems in young people today. It can impact everything from their social relationships and cognitive function to self-esteem and confidence. Although it may be necessary for them to have a phone, especially when they go off to school on their own, you should be careful about how much time they spend on it. It’s a good idea to set boundaries by enforcing phone-free periods and setting a good example yourself.

Consider mental health treatment

If your child is experiencing significant mental health issues, they may require additional help that you cannot provide by yourself. They may benefit from attending therapy sessions with a trained counselor, or checking into a residential mental health treatment provider, such as Alpine Academy Utah. It’s important to consider the solution that is best for your child’s long term health and do whatever you think is right.

Check in

Children are good at hiding their feelings, and if your little one is going through a tough time it may not be immediately obvious. It’s possible they won;t feel comfortable opening up to you, so make sure you check in regularly to see how they are doing. Ask them if there is anything bothering them at the moment and let them talk to you about it. The simple act of conversation is incredibly beneficial to one’s mental health, and this may help your child to process their feelings.

By following these tips, you will be better equipped to protect your child’s mental wellbeing and help them grow into a happy, healthy adult.

This is a contributed post.

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