You protect your child in a physical capacity, so why not seek to protect their mental health as well? Making sure they wear a helmet whenever they ride their bike is all good and well, but it’s just as important to protect what’s inside the brain too…
Here are a few things that you must do to protect your child’s mental health:
Encourage conversation with them
If you want your child to come to you whenever he or she suffers with a mental health issue, then you need to encourage conversation with them from an early age. Opening up the communication flow that you share with them will give them the confidence to talk to you about whatever it is that is troubling them. Once you are given all the details and painted the full picture in this instance, you will be able to get to work right away with regards to providing your child with the support they need.
Protect them in times of change
Children do not react well to change, that much is for certain. They form an idea of what life should be like, and they do not take too kindly to this equilibrium being disrupted. Quite simply, you must make a conscious effort to protect your little one in times of change, as not doing so could have a devastating impact on their mental health.
Here are a few ways you can do just that:
Provide them with warnings in advance
If you have the luxury of being able to forecast a change and subsequently prepare for it, you must take full advantage of this by providing your child with warnings in advance. This will help them to get used to the idea that things aren’t going to be quite the same, which in turn will help them adapt to their new reality in a much healthier and quicker fashion.
Shield them from particularly challenging elements of the change
The transformation that your family undergoes will throw a whole host of challenges your way. Some of these challenging elements of the change will be particularly difficult for your child to understand, which is why you must shield your little one from them at all costs. Should you and your partner decide to separate, for example, this would mean keeping your child away from the legalities of the divorce. For legal advice on child custody and what you can do to protect your little one at this difficult time, be sure to check out IBB Solicitors.
Make them feel like they are in control
Sometimes, the lack of control that they have over the ensuing change will be what scares your child the most. To circumvent this particular hurdle, simply make your little one feel like he or she has a degree of control over the situation. If you are moving home, for example, this would entail letting your child pick and design their own bedroom.
You need to protect your child’s mental health at all costs, that much is for certain. When you decide to take on this all-important challenge, be sure to put the above advice into practice.