Top Tips for Parents + Carers
As parents, you have an important role in your child’s mental health and wellbeing. You might feel a bit uncertain, or not sure what you can do to help. The pneumonic below suggests some useful tips that you might think about if you have a child experiencing mental or emotional difficulties:
Join in with your child on their journey if they will let you; show them that you are interested in their wellbeing and that you want to be there to support them.
Make time to really listen to your child. You may not always agree with what they have to say, but try to understand them and see things from their point of view.
Talk things through calmly. If your child finds it difficult to talk, then reassure them that you are there if they need you and allow them space to think.
It’s not your fault
It can be easy to blame yourself for your child’s difficulties, but in many cases it’s not your fault at all. Mental health difficulties are complicated and occur for various different reasons. The parents aren’t always to blame!
Be sure to encourage your child to keep going and praise them for their achievements. Remind them of their positive attributes and let them know what you like about them.
Provide a warm and nurturing environment at home, where your child feels comfortable and safe.
Be confident in yourself as a parent and don’t be afraid to make tough decisions if you feel they are in your child’s best interests. Your children need to know that you are there to keep them from harm.
Support your child’s independence – help them to feel confident and capable so that they are more able to succeed now and in the future.
Above all, remember be patient and understanding, and to look after yourself too. If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is important that you let someone know – whether this be a relative or friend you can confide in, or a trained professional.