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  • Writer's pictureKerry Tidman

Tips for Parents: Empowering Your Child's Mental and Emotional Health

Updated: Jul 8

As a school counselor and practitioner in private practice, I have encountered numerous children struggling with their mental and emotional well-being. The most common issues I see among them are low self-esteem and a lack of confidence. These challenges can significantly impact a child's overall development and happiness. In this blog post, we'll explore some practical tips for parents and caregivers on how to empower their children and support their mental health.

Children facing mental health issues often demonstrate signs of low self-esteem and confidence. They may struggle with expressing their emotions, forming relationships, and coping with stress. Recognizing these challenges is the first step in providing the necessary support to help your child thrive.

  • Encourage Open Communication : Create a safe space for your child to express their feelings and concerns without judgment. Let them know that it's okay to talk about what's bothering them and that you are there to listen and support them. The simple act of listening can be profoundly impactful. Listen not to respond or to offer advice immediately, but to understand. Show your child that their feelings are valid and that they have your complete attention. Sometimes, just being there for them without offering solutions can make them feel truly supported and loved.

  • Boost Self-Esteem : Encourage your child to engage in activities they enjoy and excel at. Celebrate their achievements, no matter how small, and instill a sense of pride in their abilities. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in boosting self-esteem. Engaging in activities such as martial arts can significantly enhance a child's self-esteem and resilience. While not all extracurricular activities are affordable, many community centers and organizations offer free or subsidized programs that can be very beneficial.

  • Taking care of your own mental health is just as important. Children often pick up cues from their parents, so modeling positive self-talk and self-care practices can encourage them to do the same. Remember, showing how to value oneself can greatly influence your child’s ability to develop self-esteem.

  • Promote a Healthy Lifestyle : A healthy body supports a healthy mind. Encourage your child to maintain a balanced diet, engage in regular physical activity, and get an adequate amount of sleep. Physical well-being plays a crucial role in mental health. The therapeutic benefits of nature are immense. Going for walks, especially in new or favorite natural settings, can significantly boost mental health and provide a fresh perspective away from daily stresses. .

  • Teach Coping Strategies : Help your child develop healthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress and challenging situations. Encourage them to practice deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, or journaling to express their emotions constructively. With waiting lists for professional help growing longer, incorporating mental health tools at home can be beneficial. Encouraging your child to journal can help them express their feelings safely and freely. Additionally, consider creating a self-harm or mental health safety box, which can include items that comfort or distract them during tough times

  • Seek Professional Help If Needed : If you notice persistent signs of anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues in your child, don't hesitate to seek professional help. A counsellor or therapist can provide the necessary support and guidance to help your child overcome their challenges. Speaking to your child's school, college or university can also be beneficial, ask them what support they offer? Don't hesitate to use resources from reputable organizations like Young Minds or Papyrus. These platforms offer excellent advice and resources that can guide you on how to support your child effectively.

  • Access Additional Resources To further support your child, I have compiled a pack of over 50 mental health and wellbeing worksheets, which are used in my practice with young people. These are available in my shop for those who are interested in additional tools to help their children navigate their emotional world. Use the code WELLBEING for a summer discount.

A child sitting dow
Poor self esteem can start from a young age

Empowering your child's mental and emotional health is a journey that requires

patience, understanding, and support. By implementing these tips and strategies, you can create a nurturing environment that allows your child to flourish and develop resilience. Remember, your love and guidance are potent tools in helping your child navigate the complexities of their emotions and build a strong foundation for their future well-being.

Let's work together to empower our children and help them thrive in a world that values their mental health and happiness. Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Reach out for support, prioritize open communication, and celebrate the progress, no matter how small. Your child's well-being is worth every effort.

Stay empowered, stay connected, and watch your child grow into a confident and resilient individual ready to take on life's challenges with courage and grace.

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of our children and nurture a generation that values mental health and emotional well-being above all else. Let's start today!

A young boy smiling happily walking down the street
The greatest gift you can give your child is self-esteem

Empower your child, empower the future.

Note: The content provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. If you have concerns about your child's mental health, please seek guidance from a qualified healthcare professional.

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