Monday, August 10, 2020

A Guide for Looking After Your Family’s Mental Health

 Supporting each other as a family is very important, and especially as a parent supporting and raising their child. Here is a guide to ensuring that your family’s mental health is never neglected and that a happy home environment is always prioritized. 

Check in With Them 

When reaching a certain age, children will want more of their privacy and independency, but that doesn’t mean leave them to their own devices without checking in with them. Ask them how they’re doing and how they’re feeling, without being too pushy. Showing your support and that you’re there for them will make it easier for your child to approach you with any problems when they feel ready to talk. 

Encourage Family Mealtimes

Not only are family mealtimes essential for positive bonding and time spent together, they’re also important for allowing opportunity for you to notice anything going on with your child. Their behaviour at mealtimes could indicate further problems, such as if they’re suddenly unwilling to join the family to eat, they are failing to eat what’s put in front of them, or if their mood is negative and unresponsive. 

For indications of mental health concerns which may be affecting your child’s ability to have a healthy diet or healthy relationship with food, there is support out there like Eden Treatment in order to get back on the right path. 

Watch for Any Changes in Their Behaviour 

Changes in behaviour which can signify mental health issues include:

  • Becoming withdrawn

  • Sleeping more or sleeping less 

  • Mood swings 

  • Irritability or being quick to anger 

  • Change in eating habits 

  • Becoming secretive 

  • Physical changes, such as weight loss

If changes in behaviour occur, don’t ignore them, and broach the subject in a sensitive way with your child. 

Don’t Be Quick to Judge

As children grow, and especially during teenage years, it can be easy to react quickly as a parent to negative behaviour, such as becoming annoyed that your child has become messy, lazy or doesn’t help with the housework. While it’s natural to want to chastise your child for this, be more patient with understanding the reasoning, as some mental health conditions like depression can result in lack of personal routine, lack of motivation when it comes to housework and general bad habits. 

You don’t want to reprimand your child before understanding why they might be suffering with bad habits. 

Final Thoughts 

Mental health problems can arise in any family, at any time, no matter the age of your child. It’s important to pay attention to any changes in behaviour or signs of mental health issues so that proper support and help can be provided. While pressurized years, such as teenager years, can result in changes in behaviour which are natural, be sure as a parent to keep an eye on the situation and educate yourself further regarding signs and symptoms of mental health in your family. 

Finally, having a child who is suffering through a mental health condition can have a profound effect on yours, too. You may end up feeling very low and troubled by watching a child struggle, so be sure to also pay attention to your own mental health and seek the right help and support you need, too.

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