caring father and teenage son spending time together making music

Nurturing a child into adulthood is one of the most fulfilling experiences for a parent.

However, when a child struggles with mental health, the experience can be overwhelming and exhausting, leaving a parent feeling discouraged and hopeless about their child’s future. 

While stress is a normal part of growing up, it could affect the child’s mental health once it becomes too extreme. As a parent, you cannot prevent your child from feeling stressed. However, there are things you can do to help kids cope. 

caring father helping teenage son do homework

Here are tips for parents with young people struggling with their mental health.

  1. Have Open Communication 

Be open to talking to your child about mental health to reduce the fear and confusion they may be feeling. However, talking to your child about mental health may not be easy.

You might not know where to start or when would be the best time to talk about it. Also, there’s usually a stigma involved, and the lack of information or fears of possible blame can make it even more challenging. 

Openly talking to your kids about mental health can help minimize the stigma. It can be tough to start a conversation, but there are helpful ways to talk with your children about their mental health.

You can start by making an analogy to a medical problem. They understand that they need to take medications for relief if they get sick with a fever or other medical conditions.

You can let your child understand that mental health is also the same. Depression, anxiety, OCD, and ADHD are all conditions that require proper treatment.

Provide concrete explanations to allow your child to understand their mental health issues better. For instance, you can say that when trying to cross the street and you feel like the car is about to hit you, you’ll get scared and panic, and that’s the same with anxiety. And while the feeling might seem scary, there are ways to deal with it.

  1. Stay Involved  

Get involved in your child’s life. Show interest in their hobbies, activities, and all other things that matter to them the most. Doing so will make your child feel valued, which is good for their mental health.

Getting involved will also make it easier to detect if your child is suffering from mental health issues, allowing you to offer immediate support. 

Positive involvement in your child’s life also provides an opportunity to build a deeper bond with them, which helps build their self-esteem. It also opens up lines of communication, making it easier for you to discuss mental health with them. 

When getting involved in your child’s life, make sure you show a genuine interest in your child’s activities. Try to participate in these activities if you can. For instance, if your kids spend their past time playing video games, tell them to teach you and see if you can play with them.

Positive involvement can occur in various settings, such as at home, school, and the community. It’s a critical aspect of parenting that can positively impact your child’s mental health.

  1. Get Educated 

It helps if you learn from the experts about how to deal with young people struggling with It helps if you learn from the experts about how to deal with young people struggling with mental health.

So, consider taking free online courses about mental health, which teaches you about different mental health issues, allowing you to understand the subject better. Your child’s mental health can also affect your mental health.

By taking the time to learn more about it, you’re supporting your child and also helping yourself. 

Mental health training course offers the necessary awareness and resources for parents to help deal with their mental child’s mental health. It also helps to break the stigma associated with mental health.

In addition, it teaches parents about the proper approach and treatment. The training course will teach participants about the risk factors and symptoms associated with mental health conditions among young people. 

Some training courses on mental health can be tailored for various audiences, with age-appropriate languages. You will find training programs that talk about the most common symptoms of depression among kids, the risk factors of depression, and how to provide help.

  1. Create Positive Routines 

Another way to protect your child’s mental health is to build positive routines. It may not be easy but try reintroducing a structure around your child’s daily schedules and include healthy eating and regular exercise. A good night’s sleep is also essential for your child’s mental health. 

Establishing a positive routine is an effective behavior management strategy. First of all, routines are one way to teach your children to cooperate, as you tell them what they should do, when, and in what order to follow.

A routine will also help your child plan fun times and school activities, which teaches discipline. When you provide your children with enough activities, good quality sleep, nutritious food daily, and plenty of time to play, they are less likely to suffer from mental health illnesses.

  1. Keep an Eye on Behavior Changes 

Behavior change is a normal part of growing up as kids navigate different growth stages. But if you notice negative changes in your child’s behavior, such as becoming more isolated or withdrawn from friends or family, then consider that a sign that they may have mental health conditions.

As soon as you notice drastic changes in your child’s behavior or personality, consider getting them evaluated immediately by a professional to rule out any reasons for the change, whether it’s due to trauma, abuse, or the onset of anxiety or depression.

Before you send your child for a formal mental health evaluation, try talking to your child first. You can also check with their friends or classmates and see if they have noticed the same thing about your child.

Try talking to your child about it and see if there is anything you can do to help.

If none of this will work, you should seek help from a mental health professional.

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