Children’s Mental Health

Childhood can sometimes be a difficult time as children face challenges and pressures in their lives. Parents, teachers, and school counselors are often the first to notice that children are not functioning as well as expected. Counseling can help children cope with difficulties such as anxiety, depression inattention, low self esteem, acting out behavior, social problems, conflicts with parents, adoption, divorce, or death of a loved one. Through the use of play, art, games, roleplaying, and stories, counselors can help children learn new skills and constructive ways to express their emotions.

WAYS TO BUILD CHILDREN’S SELF-ESTEEM

  1. Be available to your children. When they are speaking to you, give them your full attention. This lets them know that they are important.
  2. Listen to your children without making judgments. This helps them to feel respected.
  3. Spend time with your children. Play games, read, and talk to them. This lets them know that you enjoy being with them.
  4. Share your own experiences with your children. This helps them to know that you value them.
  5. Show interest in your children’s lives (their friends, interests, school activities). This helps them to feel supported.
  6. Establish clear discipline at home. Gently reinforce the limits. Praising the good things your children do while maintaining consistent discipline helps children to feel secure.
  7. Set realistic expectations with your children. Don’t expect perfection or put too much pressure on children. Acknowledge that we all make mistakes and that this is a part of learning. This helps children to accept their shortcomings and disappointments.
  8. Be a good role model for healthy ways to relate to others. When parents show respect, express kindness and concern, assert themselves when needed, and apologize and admit mistakes, children learn by their example. This helps children to successfully navigate their world.
  9. Let children know that feelings are natural, and help them find outlets for the expression of their emotions. This helps children to accept themselves and to feel accepted.
  10. Help your children make their own decisions. Show them how to weigh the pros and cons of a situation. This allows them to develop confidence in themselves.