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Tips to promote wellness for children

According to the CDC, approximately 9.8% of children and adolescents are diagnosed with ADHD, 9.4% are diagnosed with anxiety, 8.9% are diagnosed with behavior problems, and 4.4% are diagnosed with depression, but these rates continue to rise each year. For some youths, these mental health disorders occur concurrently, which worsens their ability to manage their symptoms. For adolescents specifically, substance use and suicidality become important concerns as many teens turn to self-medicating and suffering in silence when they believe there is no help for them. Without receiving proper treatment or help from adults, youth mental health disorder rates will continue to increase. 


One positive factor that came from the COVID-19 pandemic is the fact that mental health is becoming more normalized and discussed across families from various cultural backgrounds. Why might this be important? For many families and cultures,  talking about our mental health is a taboo or stigmatized. This results in individuals, including children and adolescents, to suffer in silence and thus deteriorating their mental health further. Now that the stigma of mental health is beginning to alter favorably, more people are speaking up and parents are having open and honest conversations about their child’s mental health struggles.


If you are a parent searching for ways to promote positive mental health experiences with their child, then consider these tips below to help guide you:



A woman looking at her reflection

1.Overtly express your love to your child.

Say “I love you” or hug your child more often to show how much you care and love them, even if you are upset with them. These expressions of unconditional love allow your child to remember that no matter what, you will always love them.





A black woman in the bathtub reading.

2. Encourage and affirm their personality.

Your child may be different from you or what you expected them to be, but you should always encourage them to be themselves. This will help foster more positive feelings about themselves including self-confidence, self-esteem, and overall well-being.


Hands making a square shape.

3. Spend quality time with your child using your undivided attention.

It is easy to get distracted by technology even when you’re using it to record precious memories, but the truth is, your child will remember your true presence rather than a video or picture. Also, spend time doing activities they enjoy to show that you have a genuine interest in their hobbies.

Black women hugging each other.

4. Cultivate honest and nonjudgmental communication with your child.

It is difficult for children to talk to their parents about what’s happening in their world as many fear judgment and lack understanding. Having an open line of communication with your child and promising nonjudgmental feedback will encourage them to come to you for the good, bad, and everything in between.


Bonus tip!

Allow your child a few mental health days where they are allowed to stay home from school when feeling particularly overwhelmed. Consider taking the day off from work or other responsibilities to spend time and talk to them to ensure their safety. 


All in all, demonstrating openness and willingness to talk to your child and reassuring their thoughts and feelings is the main goal. This opens the door for further treatment whether that be support groups or seeking therapy.


The best thing you can do as parents is to try your best to nurture a line of communication with your child so that they feel comfortable and safe enough to come to you for anything. Your efforts will not go unnoticed! We know there isn’t a parenting manual for you however considering speaking with our team of therapists on getting you and/or  your child the support you need. 


Ready to start your journey to wellness? Contact us today to request a free phone consultation or join one of our groups.

 

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, March 8). Data and statistics on children's mental health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 15, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/data.html 


Gordon, S. (2023, March 1). How to support your child's mental health. Verywell Family. Retrieved March 6, 2023, from https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-support-your-childs-mental-health-5208688


 

About Wellness Tree Counseling...


Our mission at Wellness Tree Counseling is to promote wellness through a culturally sensitive lens so that individuals, families and communities are encouraged to rise to their full potential and engage life in meaningful ways.


Our vision is to provide the BIPOC community with comprehensive holistic care that empowers and equips them with skills to work toward improved mental health and well-being. We take great pride in treating the whole-person.


At Wellness Tree Counseling, we value treating our clients and community with C.A.R.E. (Compassion, Affirming, Respect, & Empathy).



To learn more about our services, please visit www.wellnesstreecounseling.com




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