4 tips on how to talk to your children about their psycheadmin
Mental health and mental illness is still a taboo and stigmatized topic, even among adults. It is all the more important that children deal with the subject of the psyche at a very early age. Mental illnesses are not just limited to adults. Children can also suffer from depression, anxiety disorders and other diseases. Some studies have therefore developed interesting and helpful methods for parents to talk to their children about it respectfully and effectively. And how children can learn not only to take care of their bodies, but also their minds.
1: The emotional volcano
In the book The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World , child psychologist Katie Hurley describes the ” emotional volcano” method. To do this, she draws a volcano and explains to children that everyone has different feelings throughout the day. If we don’t express these feelings, they get stuck and eventually erupt – like a volcano. And then it happens that children scream, cry and thrash about. This method aims to teach children to talk about their feelings and not hold them back.
2: Give children time
When children cry or make a dissatisfied expression on their faces, parents should not immediately interpret their behavior. Instead, give them space and time to explain themselves. Instead of saying, “Don’t be so frustrated,” parents should say, “You look upset. What’s up?” This helps them put their own feelings into words. Parents should also be careful not to generalize to avoid conversations in which the child only answers in monosyllables. Instead of “How was school?” For example, they might ask, “What good thing happened to you today?”
3: relaxation exercises
Children also suffer from a lot of stress . They just often don’t have the tools to process it. Parents should therefore make sure that their children take time when they are free of technology and stress – for example through meditation, mindfulness exercises or simply taking a walk in nature. This also helps children to sort themselves and their feelings.
4: Write a diary
Get rid of inner conflicts and stress? Many swear by writing down their worries, wishes or feelings every day. And the positive effect of writing a diary on the psyche has even been scientifically proven . That’s why it’s a good idea to give your children diaries – if they use them, they can really help them navigate through difficult times.