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Promoting Positive Mental Health

Promoting Positive Mental Health in Children: Overview

​​​Focus on strengths.

When your child brings home​​ a test, talk first about what they did well instead of focusing on mistakes. Then ask them what they think they could do to improve. Have suggestions ready if they ask you what they could do better.

Ask and really listen to your child.

Asking your child how they are feeling and listening to their feelings are important ways to build trust. Here are some tips:

  • Pause and stop what you are doing, even for just a minute, and look at your child when you are talking to them.
  • Check your body language: be present, focus only on your child, and stay still.

To show that you are listening re-state what your child says in your own words and try to find the emotions behind them.

To do this look at your child—Do they look sad, mad, happy or excited when they are speaking? Try to guess what they might be feeling and name the emotion. For example: “So you’re saying you really want to take a swimming class. You seem really excited about it.” or “So you’re saying you really don’t want to continue in your swimming class. You look pretty unhappy about having to go.”) If you’re wrong, they will correct you. If you’re right, they will feel understood. Either way you will be strengthening your relationship.

Current as of: December 10, 2018

Author: Mental Health Screening & Early Identification, Alberta Health Services