Five Tips for Promoting Your Child's Mental Health

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1. Love Unconditionally. Teach the values of apology, cooperation, patience, forgiveness, and consideration of others.

2. Look at your own problem-solving and coping skills. Model healthy coping and maintain awareness about the example you are setting. An adult who copes in healthy ways provides a sense of safety and stability for kids. Seek individual help if you have difficulty managing your stress.

3. Promote mutual respect and trust. Keep your voice calm. Keep communication channels open and listen to your child. Encourage questions and be honest (in a developmentally appropriate way). Encourage your child to express his or her feelings. Focus on the positives and provide reassurance.

Abby Tuttle-Shamblin, LMFT

4. Discipline constructively and consistently. Always view discipline as a form of teaching. Learn what approach is most effective for your child; no physical punishment. Pay attention to positive behaviors. Help your child learn from his or her mistakes.

5. Demonstrate and encourage a healthy, active lifestyle. Participate in regular, physical activities as individuals and as a family. Limit TV and electronics. Provide healthy food choices. Go for a walk after dinner. Encourage extracurricular activities that your child will   enjoy. Make healthy living a part of daily life.

Posted on September 11, 2014 .