Are you concerned about your child or teen’s mental health? Wondering how you can really help? Do you question how well mental health providers respect culture and ethnicity?
Some are declaring a “pediatric mental health emergency” because so many parents are showing up in hospital emergency rooms with fears about kids’ emotional issues. Many parents are not sure where to turn and wonder what is best for their struggling children and teens during these challenging times. World Mental Health Day is Sunday, October 10th. The theme is “Mental health for all – let’s make it a reality.” Our panel of Peace At Home clinicians will answer your questions about mental health and help you think about how to integrate your culture and ethnicity into the treatment process. Our expert Catina Caban-Owen will be available to answer questions in Spanish.
The parent-child relationship is the most powerful mental health intervention known to humankind.
– Bessel van der Kolk
The parent-child relationship is the most powerful mental health intervention known to humankind. Bessel van der Kolk
This month we celebrate World Mental Health on October 10, 2021. As parents, we know we are affecting our child’s mental health every day, But how? This question has become more important as the pandemic persists. Join us for two important FREE events as we explain and explore what parents need to know about their children’s mental health.
8:00 PM Monday, October 4, 2021Live Facebook Event expert panel discussion“Mental Health for All – How Can Parents Help?”
8:00 PM Wednesday, October 6, 2021. “Mental Health Essentials”This class is for parents of toddlers to teens> We will share the keys to supporting your child’s psychological well-being and knowing red flags that suggest they need more help.
Our October class schedule provides answers that will put your mind at ease whether you are dealing with toddler meltdowns or teen romance. Our classes on “Conversation” and “Less Conflict” go to the heart of mental health with a focus on relationships. Understanding our children’s unique nature and helping them feel “seen” is a foundation of good mental health. Parents of children with special social-emotional needs will appreciate “ADHD and Autism – Why Do My Kids Act this Way?”
If you are dealing with that confusing stage called adolescence, “Teens in Love” will help. If you are separated or divorced, your child’s mental health is strongly affected by how you and your co-parent can work together. Don’t give up, check out “Cooperative CoParenting.” And finally, and in some ways most important for good mental health, “Wellness on the Run” will inspire and re-energize you about caring for yourself and your family.
Stay with us. We’ve got your back. Ruth E. Freeman President and Founder Peace at Home Parenting Solutions
The Wall Street Journal report on the effect of Instagram on the mental health of girls is powerful. It reminds us that it is more important to open communication with our daughters than to worry about whether or not they use Instagram. There is certainly a crisis of mental health with our teens, and while Instagram might be making matters worse, it didn’t start the fire. Let’s work together on building those important connections with our kids of all ages – listen, observe, reflect their emotions, check for understanding when they share, refrain from being the expert, remember the power of empathy.
Our girls (and all our youth for that matter), need to learn self-compassion and confidence. This is not something we can just give them. These are important assets we need to nurture in our kids. The challenge is that it starts with modeling! By maintaining open lines of communication we help youth to see their role in the world and teach them the strength of body and mind.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Before connecting with your child, take a moment to become aware of your own fears and biases. Do your best to drop your agenda to allow for open communication – which is ideally a lot more listening than talking. Be ready to learn about your child’s world and respectfully share your perspective.
Discuss social media use and ask open ended questions to encourage your child to think about and share what it is they get from social media use. What do they value about it? Why is it important to them? How is it impacting them in general? Can they identify negative impact?
Discuss starting (or continuing) a practice of gratitude in your family to nurture feelings of belonging, connectedness, and self satisfaction.
Discuss filters – do you use filters? Put on makeup? How do you talk about yourself? If your daughter uses filters, why? What does it do for her? How are other people using filters and how does that change what we see?
Discuss apps – this is a process where you can rank the happiness an app brings you, do you feel obligated to check in (ie streaks)
Discuss being a savvy consumer – consider with your child which apps you may want to remove
Discuss online safety
You’re the parent and you can limit time on screen, social media use, and specific apps. And, your child is built to seek risk and pleasure and may sneak around you. Keep in mind when you set limits, it’s ideal to invite your child into the conversation – they will understand the motivation and have their own ideas on how to keep to the plan.
The issue of the constant negative reinforcement is more about exposure in general than simply time on instagram itself. These images are present in many areas of our lives and confidence issues can be made worse by metric phobia and a feeling of needing to be connected. Talk to your daughter about things she enjoys on and off the screen and help her start a practice of gratitude to offset self doubt and create self satisfaction. Your open-ended, non-judgemental, interest in your child’s way of seeing the world and your willingness to engage in candid dialogue about tough issues are powerful protective factors in keeping kids safe.