Mental health is one of the most important aspects of our daily lives. It’s a crucial part in dictating how we go about our day, and it’s always changing. In the age of social media and the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more important to take stock of your child’s mental health and see how they’re doing.
As a parent, the task may seem daunting, but there are non-intrusive ways to do so. Here’s how.
Speak to Your Child Daily
When it comes to monitoring your child’s mental health, one of the biggest things you can do as a parent is checking in with them daily. In doing so, you can identify any changes in their behavior which may not otherwise be obvious.
A daily check-in will also give them the chance to share anything that is bothering them or that they are worried about, so that you can then help them through it. If there are no problems going on at home or school and everything seems fine, let your child know this as well. Furthermore, be sure to say something positive about what they had done during their day, even if it’s nothing out of the ordinary.
It’s important to be attentive to what your child says. Even if they give a brief description of their day, listen for signs that something may be wrong and ask the appropriate questions (“Is everything okay?” or “Are there any problems going on right now?”). This will allow you to get ahead of the issue and resolve it before things get out of hand. Once you create that safe space, this’ll also prevent your child from feeling ashamed about talking about their feelings.
Keep Tabs on their Social Media Use
Social media can have a drastic effect on your child’s mental health. Let’s face it; social media is inescapable at this point. As everyone has a cell phone, social media is so easily accessible and children can easily get pulled in for hours on end.
As a parent, you can set parental controls on your child’s phone. Setting limits on their screen time and restricting apps with sensitive content is a good preventative measure to keep your kids safe online.
Sometimes, young people who are struggling with mental health issues may use social media in a way that doesn’t look like they need help. For example, your child may discuss their mental health openly on social media and even share their struggles with depression or anxiety.
While this can be scary for you as a parent, it’s important to understand that seeking out support from friends or family members is an important step towards getting better. You should also be open to talking about your concerns about what you see online with your child so you can provide them with the help they need.
Connect with Teachers to Discuss Your Child’s Mental Health
It’s important that you keep an open line of communication with your child’s teachers to discuss your child’s mental health and how they’re doing at school. Your child may be able to mask their mental health issues when they’re in front of you, but if you can ask the teacher about how your child is performing in class, it could give you insight into whether there are any red flags present.
In addition to talking with teachers, make sure that they know how to get in touch with you if they have concerns about your child’s well-being or behavior. You can also ask them if they’ve noticed anything different about your kids lately — for example, something like increased irritability or other changes in moods or behaviors. If there are any concerning signs from teachers about changes in their behavior or attitude toward schoolwork, then talk through those concerns together as a team so everyone is on the same page heading into an upcoming day at school.
Ensuring Safe Mental Health at LuHi
At LuHi, we foster a safe environment that is conducive to positivity in regards to your child’s mental health. With our trained counselors and role models, your child’s mental health will benefit from the care and guidance passed down from the top. To learn more about LuHi’s offerings, please visit our website and get in touch with us today!