As children get older, parents must make many important decisions. One of the most common questions that parents may have is how to speak to their children about various mental health topics. Let’s discuss some appropriate ways you can effectively discuss mental health with your children.
Mental Health Topics
Some parents are hesitant to speak with their children about mental health because they don’t want to get it wrong. The good news is that there are many ways you can talk about mental health topics. You know your children, so you can find a way to speak to your children regardless of what age they’re at or what their mental health experience has been up to this point.
Mental health topics can be complex and difficult to understand. It’s important to remain patient with your children throughout these conversations. You’ll most likely need to have multiple different conversations about certain topics. Don’t be afraid to take it slow. Let them take it in at their own pace and let the discussion be open for revisiting.
It can be tempting to sugarcoat difficult aspects of mental health and self-care. However, it’s important to have those challenging conversations. This way, your children know they don’t have to shy away from difficult topics. By being honest about hard things, you’re showing your children that you trust them and view their opinions as important.
There is still a lot of shame surrounding mental health and mental illness. Speaking with your children is an opportunity to reduce shame and normalize speaking up about mental health. Your children should feel they can come to you if they’re struggling. Let them know, in words and actions, that there’s nothing wrong with having difficult mental health moments.
Age and Mental Health
One of the most important factors when deciding how to speak to your kids about mental health topics is their age. Different mental health concerns can come up at different ages. When speaking to your children, use age-appropriate language and information. This way, younger children won’t feel as confused, and older children won’t feel talked down to.
Mental health can be a complicated subject. The team at Avalon Malibu can answer any questions you have, as well as provide you with more information about the services we provide. We love empowering our clients to make the best mental health decisions for themselves, so consider if Avalon Malibu could be the right choice for you. If you’re in the process of learning more about how to take care of your own mental health and you’d like to speak with a team of professionals, you can give us a call at (844) 857-5992.