We all want the same thing for our children – for them to be happy. But have you ever stopped to think, what does happiness look like for my children?
Does happiness mean our children growing up to love who they are and how to find meaning by using their strengths despite their challenges? Or will our children be happy if we equip them with emotional intelligence to identify and express their emotions to create positive relationships? Happiness could also be the result of developing resilience – the flexibility to cope and rebuild after the investable challenges of life.
As we unpack this, happiness sounds awfully similar to mental health.
In a world full of challenges, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when thinking about our children and mental health but there are simple steps we can take every day to help improve your child’s mental health.
1. Talk about feelings
2. Listen to them and validate feelings
3. Ask open-ended questions about their day
4. Model healthy lifestyle choices
5. Embrace independence where possible
6. Tell your child what you love about them
7. Own and aplogise for your mistakes
8. Make time to connect
9. Create an emotionally and physically safe environment
10. Eat a balanced diet
11. Set boundaries (eg screen time, behaviours, sleep etc)
12. Let them make mistakes
13. Start a gratitude journal
14. Play together
15. Show them what deep breathing
16. Get to know their friends
17. Set family and individual goals
18. Schedule downtime in routines
19. Be in the moment (drop the phone and your own schedule)
20. Be consistent
21. Try new things together
22. Encourage creativity
23. Practice mindfulness
24. Remind yourself they are unique, not a version of me
25. Love them unconditionally
Need more help?
If you’d like to find out more, or talk to someone: