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Helping Your Child Develop Resilience Against Depression and Anxiety

Parents are an important part of children’s emotional development. The pandemic may have created some emotional and mental health problems for our children worldwide. Children may be stuck in a state of anxiety that they or someone else was going to die or become badly affected by Covid19. Maybe they are experiencing grief from a family member or friend that died. It’s important for parents to gain an understanding of how to support their children effectively and create safe environments for their children to emotionally thrive. Let’s discuss strategies and advice for parents who want to help their children manage depression and anxiety.

Listening and recognizing signs:

The first thing we as parents must learn to do is identify signs and listen intently to our children. There may be persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, withdrawal from social situations, problems with appetite or sleep, and the child expressing that they feel hopeless or self-harming. If your child is opening up about their feelings, it’s important to listen and validate emotions with no judgment. A safe space must be created for them to feel comfortable in discussing their thoughts.

Create lines of open communication and establish emotional support

Allowing your child to communicate openly with you is crucial. Be encouraging and let them discuss their feelings and experiences. Listen actively to what they say. Do not interrupt or criticize them when they are communicating these emotions with you. Don’t dismiss emotions or compare their problems. There is no trauma better than another. Be empathetic, reassuring, and understanding. Discuss healthy coping skills such as journaling, being creative, or even making an appointment with a professional if needed.

Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle:

A healthy lifestyle is important to mental health. Physical exercise, a balanced diet, and proper sleep should be encouraged. Endorphins are released with physical activities. Endorphins give a feeling of well-being. Instead of being on the computer all day, encourage outdoor activities and the opportunity to connect with nature. In fact, limit screen time and support social connection. This is especially important for children to adjust, even after this much time has passed since the pandemic.

Seek help from a professional

If anxiety and depression in your child worsen, it’s important to get help from a professional. Have a consultation who specializes in adolescents and children. They have the capability to assess your child’s condition and can recommend treatment options. It may be therapy, medications, or a combination that could help with these symptoms. As a former infantryman and combat veteran, seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness or failure. It is to change the stigma of seeking help. Seeking help is an important step in exhausting options to ensure your child’s well-being

Ensure the environment is supportive

Your child’s environment is your home. Your home is significant when it comes to their well-being. Ensure the home is a supportive atmosphere. Promote positive communication with all family members. Set reasonable expectations. Celebrate each other’s achievements. Peers in the family should have healthy relationships. Help them with problem-solving skills, building resilience, and managing stress. Be a model for self-care and ensure your own well-being is being meant. This will show your child it is important for them to take care of themselves.

Continue seeking your own education:

By reading this article, you have started to educate yourself on being an effective part in your child’s support team. Continue to seek education on depression, anxiety, and suicide prevention. Find books, other articles, and online resources to gain a deep understanding of issues in the mental health realm. You can find workshops and seminars on mental health awareness and suicide prevention if you so choose. Knowledge of these things will help you better understand your child, and help break down the stigma surrounding mental health.

Supporting a child who is having problems with depression and anxiety can be challenging, but you can make a significant difference as a parent. You are not alone in this journey. Find support groups and organizations that are dedicated to mental health. If you recognize the signs, encourage open communication, promote a healthy lifestyle, find a professional when that help is needed, create a healthy and supportive environment, and find education for yourself, you can be a crucial part of your child’s support as they navigate challenges and create a path towards resilience.

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