Children are facing obstacles at a different level than their parents. At a very early age, they are introduced to technology through learning toys and even their parents’ cell phones. As they age, the introduction of the internet and smartphones has brought about cyberbullying, affecting one in three children. Modern Technology has been proved to foster negative self-images and expose children to violent, inappropriate content. Considering all of these factors and more, it’s no wonder that children today have more prominent mental health issues than their parents had at their age.
What Can Parents Do to Help Their Children?
A child’s mental health begins with how their parents perceive and respond to them. It is important for parents to cultivate a loving and accepting environment for their children. Parents have the power to foster self-acceptance and strong self-esteem by encouraging their children and helping them explore their interests and talents, while also helping them set realistic goals and productive ways of achieving them.
Open communication between parents and children is also important. It gives parents and children a chance to explain how they feel about a variety of issues, while supporting the child’s mental and emotional growth and inevitable quest for independence. By promoting self-acceptance, fostering strong self-esteem, and using open communication, parents can be assured they are, at the very least, giving their children important advantages that will go toward preparing their children to face life’s problems in a healthy way and facilitating good mental health in the future.
Jewish Family & Career Services recognizes the importance of promoting good mental health in children, and offers many services which can help encourage a healthy outlook. JFCS provides family counseling sessions wherein families can use the time to openly share their feelings, worries, and opinions in a way that fosters important familial and individual growth. JFCS also offers Child and Play therapy, groups specialized for particular needs, ages, and skills, and individual adolescent therapy.
Mental health is important no matter someone’s age, but if we don’t intervene and promote good mental health when they’re young, it becomes harder to help them in the future.
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