Children’s Mental Health Checklist for a Happy, Healthy New Year
As the New Year unfolds, ensuring children’s mental health should be a top priority for every parent. To assist families in addressing this important issue, Lutheran Family and Children’s Service offers a concise Children’s Mental Health Checklist
Encourage honest conversations in a judgement-free zone where children can share their concerns.
Model diverse feelings.
Demonstrate a variety of healthy emotions to normalize the idea that everyone experiences different feelings.
Use “I Statements”.
Employ “I Statements” to promote productive conversations about feelings, needs, and the impact of events.
Build positive routines.
Children thrive on structure and predictability. Create consistent routines to provide structure, predictability, and a sense of safety for children.
Teach responsibility for feelings.
While showing emotions is healthy, avoid burdening children with responsibility for your feelings. Model coping strategies instead.
Practice healthy coping strategies.
If you practice healthy coping with complicated feelings, it will be easier for your children to do the same when they need it. Examples include walking, talking to a trusted friend, meditating, or journaling about your feelings.
Encourage play and exercise.
Engage children in play and light exercise to boost positive energy and counteract prolonged computer screen time.
Teach your child various stress management techniques, including deep breathing, counting slowly, coloring, music or a short walk.
Seek professional help.
If the symptoms or issues that your child is experiencing are interfering with their daily activities, seeking a mental health professional to help would be advised. LFCS offers tailored behavioral services for children and evidence-based approaches to help your child overcome their challenges. For more information about our mental health services or to schedule an appointment, please visit lfcsmo.org/counseling.