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5 Ways to Nurture Your Child's Mental Health

A parent and a child spending time together to focus on mental health and building coping skills

Just like the rest of the body, a child's mental health also needs to be supported and nurtured! It is often believed that young children do not experience anxiety and depression and that mental health problems cannot be prevented, but this is simply not true. The health of one's psyche needs to be addressed and nurtured from birth. What does nurturing a child's mental health look like? Listed below are 5 easy ways that you can start supporting your child's mental health in a positive and developmentally-appropriate way!

1. Communicate in a supportive way:

  • Actively talk about emotions and feelings.

  • Use open-ended questions.

  • Share your feelings and validate theirs.

  • Tell the truth.

  • Listen with intention before offering advice.

  • Look for opportunities to say “yes”.

  • Respond calmly when their emotions are elevated.

  • Ask questions about their interests and activities.

2. Help children build strong relationships:

  • Schedule time as a family together.

  • Model forgiveness, healthy choices/behaviors, and acceptance.

  • Surround them with healthy adults who can also be role models.

  • Show respect.

  • Encourage connections.

3. Support their development of self-esteem:

  • Express love often – through words and actions.

  • Provide praise and recognize positive choices and efforts, not just achievements.

  • Help them set realistic goals.

  • Believe them and in them.

  • Teach them problem-solving skills.

  • Allow your child to experience distress and failure.

4. Create a safe home environment:

  • Offer patience.

  • Set and respect boundaries.

  • Be present.

  • Balance support and structure.

  • Be consistent and follow through with what you promise.

5. Teach about healthy habits and coping:

  • Help your child develop positive coping strategies.

  • Make play and exercise a requirement.

  • Practice relaxation exercises together.

  • Encourage healthy eating and rest.

  • Be aware of your child’s media use (both the content and time spent).

If your child is needing further mental health support to manage anxiety, learn coping skills, or process a difficult life circumstance, we are here to help. Book a session with us today and you will be contacted by one of our Certified Child Life Specialists within 24 hours!


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