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100 Everyday Ways to Strengthen Your Child’s Mental Health

Inside: Every day is an opportunity for parents and caregivers to provide the best gift possible, a strong foundation for a child’s mental health.

If you had only one wish for your child’s future what would it be?

Many of us would say “I want my child to be happy”, but what does that really mean?

Would it mean your child would grow up to love who they are as a person, knowing their strengths and challenges, and able to offer those gifts to the world in a meaningful way?

Would it mean your child would have the emotional intelligence skills to express and modulate their emotions in a healthy way as well as interacting positively and engaging in fulfilling relationships with those around them?

Would it mean your child would have the resilience and flexibility to cope with challenging and adverse life events that come their way?

Sometimes happiness sounds a lot like the main components of mental health.

a child's mental health
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It’s easy to feel helpless when it comes to our child’s mental health and well-being when we look around and feel the weight of scary statistics and trends bearing down on us.

What you may be forgetting amidst the fear-based headlines is that parents have a lot of power when it comes to their child’s mental health. 

The environment you provide for your child each day holds many opportunities for nourishing good mental health both now and into adulthood.

100 Ways to Nurture Your Child’s Mental Health each day

1.Love them unconditionally

2.Talk about feelings

3.Listen first, talk second

4.Allow plenty of time for play

5.Discipline with respect not shame

6.Ask about your child’s day

7.Let them do things on their own

8.Teach good sleep habits

9.Model positive self-care

10.Let them be independent when possible

11.Tell your child what you love about them

12.Be honest with them at an age-appropriate level

13.Apologize to them when you mess up

14.Let them appropriately express their emotions

15.Replace yelling and nagging with teaching

16.Help them engage in problem-solving

17.Make time for daily connection

18.Provide a physically safe environment for your child

19.Provide an emotionally safe environment for your child

20.Provide nutritious whole foods

21.Adhere to healthy screen time recommendations

22.Validate their feelings

23.Grow a rich family culture

24.Keep your cool when they heat up

25.Let them know mistakes are a chance to learn

26.Allow them to experience natural consequences

27.Share personal stories to teach important lessons

28.Give them specific praise

29.Teach them how to journal

30.Play family board games

31.Allow them to take healthy risks

32.Let your child know you are always there if they need to talk

33.Surround them with positive role-models

34.Teach your child their body belongs to them

35.Show them how to take deep breaths

36.Remember that kids will act like kids

37.Play with your child

38.Get to know their friends

39.Teach coping strategies

40.Set healthy limits

41.Believe the best of them

42.Have family meetings

43.Teach your child to set goals

44.Give them downtime

children's mental health

45.Move toward them and not away, when they’re struggling

46.Allow them to have their own ideas and opinions

47.Respect your child’s boundaries

48.Show patience and grace when they mess up

49.Encourage them to try a new activity

50.Teach them growth mindset

51.Be aware of your own emotional triggers

52.Establish routines

53.Use respectful tones and gestures

54.Recognize that behavior is communication

55.Create family rituals

56.Get to know the person behind ‘your kid’

57.Take them to therapy

58.Explore new things together

59.Teach them to respect others by modeling respect to them

60.Remember that growing up can be really stressful

61.Nurture your child’s gifts

62.Be on your child’s team

63.Put down your phone and be in the moment with them

64.Teach them plenty of emotions words

65.Be intentional about cultivating emotional intelligence

66.Remember they want time with you more than new games or toys

children's mental health

67.Be consistent and follow through with what you say

68.Share the ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ of each day

69.Provide an abundance of good physical touch

70.Engage in random acts of kindness

71.Do mindfulness activities together

72.Light up when you see them

73.Remind yourself that your child is not you but their own unique person

74.Promote creativity

75.Encourage regular exercise

76.Monitor electronic devices and content

77.Remember that discipline means ‘to teach’

78.Communicate with your child’s teacher

79.Use encouragement over negativity

80.Provide opportunities for social interaction

Related>> Why Every Parent Should Start Caring about Childhood Mental Health

81.Tell your child their strengths

82.Cuddle with them

83.Allow expression through art

84.Expect the best from your child

85.Teach and model healthy boundaries

86.Eat family meals together

87.Try time-in’s instead of time-out’s

88.Teach and model self-love

89.Hug them often

90.Healthy living environment

91.Pay attention to your child’s interests

92.Have uncomfortable conversations

93.Welcome do-over’s

94.Create a calm down corner (the Calm Kids Set will Help!)

95.Read books that normalize emotions

96. Praise effort over achievement

97. Give them household responsibilities

98.Do yoga together

99.Discover and enjoy mutual hobbies and activities

100.Accept your child exactly as they are

Your child’s mental health matters

Good mental health is essential to overall health in every child. When you strengthen your child’s mental health not only are you positively affecting how your child thinks feels and behaves, you are increasing their chances of success in school, with peers, and in life.

kids mental health

children's mental health

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  1. I’m a mother to 4 adult children, grandmother to 4 (ages 2-5), and teacher. The list of critically necessary ideas you provided are very practical, and I can apply them daily at home and at school to help both my children and the children I serve during my teaching day.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Stephanie- Thanks so much for reading and I’m thrilled to hear the ideas translate as practical both at home and in the classroom! What a wonderful caregiver and educator you are!

  2. Excellent ideas to demonstrate and apply to promote wellbeing in our youth. Thanks for sharing

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