Sound mental health is important for people of all ages. Adults need to be mentally well in order to get through daily tasks. A child’s mental health should be given the same attention; this will help them grow into healthy adults. Though they don’t yet have the same responsibilities, their health when young can affect how they face the world when older.
Just as you would worry if your child broke a bone, you should also ensure that their minds are in a calm and healthy state. This involves talking to them about the subject of mental health, even if it is uncomfortable.
How can you explain to a child that mental health is real and important? How can you convey the message that they should not keep to themselves if they need to talk about their fears?
Here are some ways you can open the conversation about mental health.
Be Honest About Your Mental Health
You don’t need to tell a child the details of your struggle with mental health, but be honest with them when you are feeling anxious. Set an example by asking your child for advice when you need to calm down. Allow them to be supportive to you; later, they won’t be afraid to ask you for attention.
Listen To Their Emotions
When your child chooses to open up to you about their emotions, don’t write them off as fears they will outgrow. Being supportive when your child speaks of their emotions will give them the confidence to open up to others when they’re older.
Talk About Medication
The world is full of people who are biased against medication that helps with mental health. Your child might need to take such a medicine one day, so be open about the positive effects they have on mental health.
Children understand matters of health better than we think. Instead of shielding them from mental health, speak to them about its reality. Teach them that it’s okay to be open about their emotions, especially when they make it difficult to focus on everyday tasks. When they can trust you to give them advice, they’re in a good place.