I would say parents play a huge role in their child’s mental state, more so when they are younger. Children learn by observation, so one of the ways we influence their mental state is via the way we cope with hardships ourselves – a lot of how they handle negative events in their own life has to do with how they’ve seen their parents and family members coping. I’ll talk more about this in my suggestions.
Three changes that parents must make to assist in improving the child’s general wellbeing:
(1) Improve your relationship with your child. Whether you do this by having family time every weekend, or by going out for ice-cream individually, or even by having a short catch-up conversation at bedtime, it is vital that parents work on improving their relationship with their children. Nouman Ali Khan (CEO, Bayyinah) has spoken on this many times, where he has stressed the importance of parents taking out the time to listen and share with their kids. The way this plays into mental health wellbeing is that by having an established relationship with your child, he or she is more likely, even as a teenager, to confide in you about what some of their struggles are.
As parents, we must come to terms with the fact that despite all of our experience from our own teenage years, there are some things that teens deal with nowadays that we just did not go through ourselves. Thus, it is important to be a good listener, to ask questions about how our teen is thinking or feeling, and above all, not to make judgements or get defensive.
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