As we continue to do more in society and more activities continue to reopen, are you wondering about your child’s mental health or stress level? The last two years have been difficult for many people, including children. They have been expected to handle more transitions and changes as well as some missed out on activities they had been expecting. This can be hard on a child’s mental health and add to their stress level. Are you wondering how to help your children with this or if they need professional help?
It is important to help your child create ways to help your child with their stress level and help them to have coping skills as well. These skills will be important as they get older as well as life continues to have stressful events. If these skills are learned earlier in life, it is easier to use them as life continues. Children may have some ideas of calming techniques, but will probably also need help to determine what will be the most beneficial and what may be needed in different situations. Helping them determine what coping skills they have and want to grow is a great conversation to have with them and will also provide some insight for you into your child’s mental health and stress level. This conversation can be hard for some children as they may not know what they are doing to help with their stress and mental health. This can be helped by providing examples of what they may have done and how they have handled situations previously. Talk to them about what has worked and what maybe did not work as well so that it can be modified to be more beneficial. It can also be helpful to assist them in creating additional coping methods as well. Some ideas that can be used are exercising, listening to music, going outside, reading a book, doing art, or talking to someone. What is successful for each child will depend on the individual child, but these are ones that can be used to start a conversation.
Many parents think about mental health and may not always be aware of what to pay attention to in terms of a child struggling with mental health. It can be easier to tell with some children as they may start acting out more and having more outward behaviors. These can be seen through yelling, throwing things, being defiant, or being more aggressive. While these are important to pay attention to and may warrant additional help, it is also important to remember the other spectrum that may be seen. Some children become more withdrawn and focused inward if they are struggling with their mental health. This can be seen when children no longer want to participate in activities they used to enjoy, do not want to interact with others, or who want to stay home more than they used to. While you may see these behaviors or either spectrum, it is also important to try to talk to your child about what is happening and what you are witnessing. There may have been something that happened at school or another activity that they are having a hard time with or it may be more serious. Whenever you have a question about your child’s mental health, it is important to ask a professional. It is always better to ask and not need additional services, then to have needed them and not gotten them.
Children are going to experience stress during their lives and have times that are more difficult than others. It is important to help them learn how to handle these experiences and create coping skills and methods. Some children are going to need more help and support and there is nothing wrong with reaching out for additional help. A child’s mental health and ability to handle stress are important to pay attention to. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me for more information.