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Kids Mental Health and the Importance of Friends

By Rachel Shouse

Every parent knows how important it is for their children to make good friends. Regardless of age, it's vital for kids to know how to identify good friends from bad friends. At some point every child is going to feel lonely and could reach out to someone who may not be a good influence on them. That's where this should start. It's important to have conversations with your child about making good friends, how to handle loneliness, and who they can talk to if they're not feeling like themselves. 

Talking to Your Kids About Their Friends

There are a lot of conversations that are important to have with your children. One of those conversations should be about making good friends. Teaching them the importance of a quality friend over a large quantity of friends could save them from a lot of negative influences later on. Everyone makes mistakes and your child's friends are no exception to that. So aiming for a perfect friend is impossible. 

Not only should you be talking to your kids about making good friends, you should also talk to them about being a good friend. Teach them to be kind and stand up for others. Educate them on bullying and talk to them about the damage it can do. You're child's going to make mistakes, but having conversations about their mistakes and helping them solve how they should handle it the next time is exactly what they need. 

Teaching Your Child How to Cope With Loneliness

Every child, at some point, is going to have to learn how to cope with loneliness. Not every kid has a handful of friends, so they very well could end up at school without their small group. This is a great time to talk to them about what they should do. If you think your child could benefit from expanding their social group, try signing them up for sports, clubs, maybe have them tutor other children, etc. It may break your heart to know that your child felt lonely, but it could be a learning experience that will benefit them at some point in life. 

Mental Health Checks on Your Child

A lot of awareness has been spread when it comes to mental health. More people are becoming aware of the symptoms and difficulties that those with mental health conditions face. Knowledge helps build empathy. If your child is struggling and they're either not feeling like themselves or they don't seem like themselves, it's time to reach out. It doesn't have to be a sit-down necessarily. Keeping it low key can help them feel more comfortable talking about their problems.

Parents truly are heroes. They spend their days doing everything they can to provide a good life for their kids. It's easy to let some important conversations slip though. Not that it's anyone's fault. It happens. These ideas can really help if this is an area that you need help in. Also, don't be afraid to reach out yourselves. Everyone needs help and advice at some point. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mesquite, Tex.

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