Family Friendly Mental Health Tips
By Genevieve Cunningham
Keeping your family healthy is definitely a top priority. Whether it’s just you, a spouse, or you have tons of kids in tow, health of any kind is crucial for your family’s ultimate well-being. While it’s relatively easy to find tips on managing your family’s physical health, finding ways to manage mental well-being for a family is a little tougher. To get you started down the right path, check out these family-friendly mental health tips.
Allow Plenty of Together Time
If you have a family, it’s important to schedule plenty of time together. Your kids, especially, need that face-to-face time. It’s in these moments that they will tell you about their day, their feelings, and their innermost thoughts. If you don’t make time for this, you’ll miss a lot of the cues and signals that might mean your children need additional support. But it’s not enough to just be with them … you really have to listen. They want to tell you about their friend drama? Their basketball game (for the hundredth time!)? Their school? Listen! Don’t be ready with advice or a scolding, but just listen to what they’re saying. This has been proven to be an effective way to make your kids feel heard, safe, and secure in their own home and their own world, which is a huge step to keeping their mental health intact.
Surround Yourselves With Positive Influences
Kids rely on their peers for a lot, and that’s OK. But since all kids are different and you can’t choose their friends for them, it’s also important to make sure that they are surrounded with positive influences in their lives. Make friends with other families that share your values. Invite family (if they’re positive) over and into your lives. As your kids grow, they may or may not want to let you into their personal space. This is normal. But to make it through these times, make sure that positive people are available to help them through when you can’t.
Stay Active as a Family
Families that do activities together are among the happiest and healthiest. This might include playing sports, seeing movies or plays together, visiting museums, or taking day trips. It doesn’t matter what you do, but make sure that at least some of your activities are done together on a regular basis. This fosters trust, encouragement among each other, and opens communication. You don’t have to do everything together, and honestly you shouldn’t. But allowing some time for togetherness is a great option for staying mentally well.
Mental health is a crucial part of overall wellness in a family. Even though it can be tough, make it a priority in your family’s life. Use these tips to get a headstart, and protect your family for a lifetime of happiness, love, and good health.