Your mental health can be good, moderate, or poor, just like your physical health. It affects the way you think, feel, and act. As a parent or caregiver, you play an important role in supporting your child’s mental health. You can promote good mental health by the things you do, say, and the environment you create at home.
Look at things that your child does well. For example, 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 do better next time. Have suggestions ready if they ask you.
It’s OK for your child to feel how they feel (for example: mad, sad, worried, embarrassed). Emotions or feelings only tell you how your child feels. The feelings can be mild, moderate, or strong. They aren’t right or wrong, or good or bad.
Your child can have more than one emotion about something. They also may not feel the same as someone else about a situation. Feelings come and go, and they can change over time. Your child can’t control how they feel, but they can control how they act when they have strong feelings. To help your child name and calm their feelings, ask questions about what they’re feeling.
When your child tells you what they are feeling, try to put yourself in their place. This is called empathy. Accept what they’re feeling and show empathy with the tone of your voice and the expressions on your face.
Current as of: March 26, 2021
Author: Mental Health Screening & Early Identification, Alberta Health Services
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