Our Children Deserve the Best We Can Give Them
July is National Make a Difference for Children Month—a time to focus on our children’s wellbeing and to strengthen our relationships with them.
"Engaging families in ways to connect, model, communicate and build trust is important in making a difference in the lives of their children. Learning ways to meet your child's needs, whether big or small, creates a positive impact on their mental health, self-esteem, relationships and ability to flourish going forward," says Lisa Bennett, MA, LPC, ACS, Senior Program Director, Visitation Services, Acenda.
Here are 7 ways you can support children’s mental health during July and throughout the year.
- Spend quality time each day with your child. Put down your electronics and focus on your child. Whether it is talking a walk and talking about the day, reading a book together, or making a favorite meal, time spent together is bonding time and it helps in building trust.
- Be more involved with their schooling. Ask them what they did that day. Help them with homework, talk about the teacher and classmates and if there are any concerns they may be having in the classroom.
- Encourage your child to develop friendships. Get to know their friends, their parents, and plan activities for them to spend time together.
- Take part in their hobbies. If your child is showing an interest in a particular sport, an instrument, art, or another hobby, schedule some lessons or find a class for them to participate it. It is a wonderful outlet for children away from home and the classroom and helps develop their confidence.
- Listen to your child. If you sense they are struggling or need advice, offer an ear and a helping hand. Knowing you are there for them is all the self-assurance they need.
- Build your child up. Though you might not like their behavior sometimes or the grade they got on a test, remember to always build them up, while being fair and firm. You don’t want them to get discouraged and not feel good about themselves.
- Time outs are necessary. If your child is angry or frustrated, suggest they take a break and learn how to get control so you can talk more effectively with one another.
“We never want our children to begin feeling so stressed and anxious that it gets in the way of daily living, that’s why it is so important for parents and caregivers to be present and supportive,” adds Bennett.
If you feel your child is in need of additional support, our clinicians are available to help. Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632) for more information about our counseling and telehealth services.
For children and youth up to 21 years of age who are experiencing escalating emotional or behavioral issues, Acenda offers crisis outreach services. Our Children’s Mobile Response workers respond within one hour to help diffuse an immediate crisis and keep children safe and stable within their homes. This service is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-877-652-7624 and request Children’s Mobile Response.