Mental health is an essential part of children's overall health. It has an interactive relationship with their physical health and even their ability to succeed in school, at work, and in society. Like physical health, mental health affects how we think, act, and feel on the inside and out.
If your child is exhibiting any of the following behaviors, these could be red flags that you need to seek mental health advice:
- A major change in behavior
- A sudden drop in grades
- Increased moodiness
- Social circle change
- Changes in sleeping habit/persistent nightmares
- Excessive fear, worry and crying
- Tantrums (over 10-15 minutes)
Even if your child is not exhibiting the described behaviors, it is still good practice to check in with your child about their mental health. Here are some open-ended check-in questions you can be asking your child every day to help determine if they are suffering from bullying, depression, or anxiety.
- Is there anything worrying you?
- Is something making you scared?
- How is your body feeling? Any stomach aches or headaches?
- Is it easy for you to fall asleep?
- How are you feeling? Are you sad?
- Do you know what's bothering you?
- Who are your friends now? What do you do with them?
- Do you sometimes wish you weren't alive at all?
- Does bullying happen at your school?
- Have you seen anyone being bullied? Does anyone bother you at school?
- Has anything frightening happened to you at school?
Using these check-in questions with your child, not only enhances your relationship but it also opens up a safe space. Your child will feel comfortable to communicate their feelings to you and will learn at home that mental health and wellness are important and essential for us to be happy and healthy.
Mental health is important to be taught at a young age. You can nurture this in your child and together face any obstacles that may come.
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