Your Behavior Impacts Your Children's Mental Health

Various therapists and child psychologists offered advice on how to help your child cope. We've compiled some tips for you.

Children model behavior much more than you think.

Electronics are often cited as contributing to children becoming withdrawn. Are you telling your kids to turn off the TV while you're sitting at the kitchen table on your computer?  This sends mixed messages.

When you take time for yourself, do you close yourself in your bedroom and watch TV? 

If you want your child to manage their stress, therapists suggest keeping your stress in check as well. 

Talk to your child about why you are stressed, explain to them why you had a bad day, and what you are going to do to manage that stress.

If you take your bad day out on them or your spouse, your child will often do the same when they are overwhelmed.

Talk about ways to relax and share them with your child, experience them together. Quiet walks, turning off electronics, and reading together are all good tips.

No one is saying children don't need discipline and structure, but make sure you and your spouse are working together on tasks your child is given.

If one parent orders the child to clean their room, and minutes later the other parent orders the child to pick up toys left in the kitchen, the child can become overwhelmed trying to please both parents. 

Does your child talk to you while you have your smart phone in your hand or your computer in your lap? Is your children calling your name repeatedly and you're not responding because you're online?

Do you yell through the house to your child rather than come and talk to your child face to face?

All of these things can impact your child's behavior.

Parents aren't perfect, we make mistakes, it's important to acknowledge them.  Don't just say you're sorry, but ask you child how your behavior made them feel? What they thought when you lost your cool.

Listen to their feelings and address them, this much more powerful than simply saying I'm sorry or taking them for a treat.

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