Mental Health Conversations I'll Have with My Young Daughter
Mental health conversations are important at every age and stage of development. As a parent, there’s a lot I want to tell my young daughter about mental health, so hopefully one day she will be a confident woman with a healthy life. She will grow up with me speaking openly about my mental illness as I always have. I hope in return she will feel comfortable talking about mental health as well. I plan on having mental health conversations early and keep the discussion going throughout her childhood. Here are three points I really want to get across.
3 Mental Health Conversation Points to Young Children
Positive mental health means you’re not always going to be happy, and that’s okay.
As your parent, I hope there will be lots of fun and happy times while you’re growing up, but sometimes you will feel sad, disappointed, angry, embarrassed, and lots of other emotions. There are lots of awkward moments in childhood, and that’s just part of learning and growing. You will not be happy all the time. It’s okay to not be okay.
Others are not always going to be happy, either, so be kind.
If someone is feeling sad or angry, remember you’ve felt that way before, too. Practice empathy. Be kind and patient. Also, if you see another kid at school having a hard time, be inclusive. Everyone deserves a friend and to feel understood.
It’s okay to ask for help with your mental health.
If you are having mental illness symptoms that interfere with your functioning, please ask for help. An example of this could be you’ve felt sad for the past couple weeks and have a hard time getting out of bed. You’ve avoided leaving the house. Maybe you’ve lost interest and haven’t participated in the things you love for a while. These could be possible signs of mental health issues. If you think you need help, don’t wait.
There have been times when I’ve had mental health symptoms and I hesitated to ask for help. I always regretted it because I suffered longer than I needed to. If you ever feel suicidal, ask for help right away (Risk Factors for Child and Teen Suicide). Remember, mental illnesses are treatable, and symptoms and feelings are almost always temporary. No one deserves to suffer.
Mental Health Conversations in the Future
As a mom, there’s so much I want to tell my daughter, and hopefully, over the years there will be lots of time for mental health conversations. I am a first-time parent and would love to learn from others. My daughter is 21 months old, so we have lots of time ahead of us for mental health conversations.
Parents, what have you taught your children about mental health? Please tell your stories in the comments.
Rahm, M. (2018, February 7). Mental Health Conversations I'll Have with My Young Daughter, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2018/02/parenting-and-mental-health-what-i-want-to-tell-my-daughter