5 Tips For Helping Your Child Through Mental Health Struggles

Disclaimer: The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

In recent years, the number of children facing mental health concerns has spiked dramatically, leading parents to question how to effectively support their little ones. As kids grow and develop, it can be essential to arm them with the tools and knowledge they need to care for their mental health—and it’s often up to parents to teach them these skills. 

Approaching the topic of mental wellness can be intimidating, especially for those who don’t know a lot about it. However, with effort and a willingness to learn, parents can lead their children in the right direction and help them face mental health concerns with the tools and confidence they need. Below, we’ll be discussing five tips that may come in handy as you support your child in their unique mental health journey. 

5 Tips To Help Your Child Through Mental Health Concerns

When your child is facing mental health challenges, it can be disheartening, leaving you feeling helpless and unsure of how to help. You may be concerned about making things worse or not doing enough, leading to hesitancy in approaching the concern. However, it’s essential to act as soon as you believe there may be an issue, and even to take preventive steps to help keep concerns from occurring in the first place. Here are five tips that can be beneficial in supporting your child’s mental well-being:  

  • Spend Quality Time With Them

Being intentional about spending time with your child can be instrumental in strengthening the bond you share. The closer the two of you grow, the more open they might be about what they’re going through. Be sure to remove any distractions, such as phones or the TV, to ensure that the time you spend together is high-quality. Additionally, allow your child to pick what activities you do to show that you value their input. 

  • Help Them Create A Routine

Establishing a routine can provide your child with a sense of structure and stability, allowing them to stay calm and in control of their life. This can help ease symptoms of stress and anxiety, both of which can worsen when life feels unpredictable. A routine can also assist your child in developing healthy habits like getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals, and exercising regularly. This can be useful for alleviating symptoms of depression, as your child can organize their day into small, achievable tasks and feel a sense of accomplishment as they complete each one.

  • Perform Regular Check-Ins

Your child’s mental health may ebb and flow, with some days being happier and more productive than others. Checking in with your child regularly to see how they’re doing can give them the chance to open up to you and ask for help if they need it. If they choose to be vulnerable with you about their thoughts or feelings, it’s vital to listen closely and offer unconditional love, support, and acceptance. Staying in the loop with your child’s mental well-being can ensure that their needs are being met and allow you to get them extra assistance before their mental health worsens.  

  • Encourage Self-Care

It’s crucial to encourage your child to take care of themselves, as self-care can play a significant role in maintaining positive physical and mental well-being. Making sure that your child is getting enough rest and physical activity while also eating nutritious foods and spending time with loved ones can help ensure that they develop healthy habits from a young age. Guide them in finding hobbies that they enjoy, such as creative play, and come up with activities they can do outside and around the house to keep their minds and bodies stimulated. Having a self-care routine can stave off depression, anxiety, and stress as it can boost your child’s self-esteem and happiness.

  • Connect Them With A Therapist

Sometimes, as much as you want to help your child, their needs extend beyond your knowledge, resources, and ability to offer support. In these cases, it can be beneficial to have them speak with a therapist. Child therapists are trained to use a variety of approaches to assist kids in working through mental, emotional, and behavioral concerns. If you’re considering getting a professional involved in your child’s mental health journey but aren’t sure where to start or what to expect, chatting with a BetterHelp therapist online can allow you to find clarity and learn more about approaches like play therapy, which may help your child feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings.

No child deserves to face mental health struggles, and no parent deserves to be a witness to them. By implementing the following tips and regularly updating your knowledge of mental health, you can equip your child with the necessary tools and support while cultivating a nurturing home environment where they feel seen, heard, and understood. At the end of the day, knowing you’ve done everything you possibly can to support your child and advocate for them can fill you with a sense of peace, purpose, and accomplishment. Your child deserves to lead a fulfilling life, and you can play a key role in helping them achieve just that.