There are many elements to being a father that you will want to make sure you get right. Certainly one of them is knowing how to help when one of your kids has some kind of mental health problem going on. This is a very common situation for fathers to find themselves in, and therefore something that you should try to make sure you are as prepared for as possible – so you will know what to do and how to act if it should happen in your family.
In this post, we will look at this in some detail. The following are all tips on how you can help your children with any mental health concerns or issues that they might have. If you can remember the following, you should find that you are going to have much happier and healthier kids as a result.
Look Out For The Signs
First of all, remember that you cannot rely on children coming to you when they have mental health problems, to tell you that they do. This is just because of the nature of these problems. It is often very difficult to be able to talk about it when you are going through a period of depression, anxiety or whatever else the problem might be. It’s not a failing on your part or theirs – it’s just how it is to have a mental health problem.
As such, however, it’s good if you can be a little proactive in looking out for the signs of mental health troubles. Common symptoms include a change in sleeping pattern, either sleeping more or less than usual, as well as changes in appetite or a sudden weight change in the body. Mood swings are something else to look out for, as well as examples of ‘acting out’ behavior, such as engaging in risky or taboo things.
Looking out for these will help empower you to help your kids when you need to, and when they need you most.
Understand The Types Of Treatment
There are actually so many ways to treat all kinds of mental health issues, and this is something that you are certainly going to want to bear in mind here too. There are many kinds of treatment that you might want to consider for your kids, or simply inform them of and let them make their own choice, depending on their age. And the more fully you understand all of these yourself, the more effectively you can communicate it to your children.
Let’s take depression as a particularly common example. For this, you have many options. That would include an inpatient treatment for depression, if it is particularly severe or if it goes hand in hand with an addiction or some related problem. But you also have standalone talking therapy, as well as medication of course. There is no right and wrong in all this, it’s just about finding the appropriate treatment for each individual.
But the more you understand the types of treatment, the better.
Provide Emotional Support
Now we come on to one of the most important things that a father can do for their children – provide emotional support. This is something that you will want to do as best as you can at all times, of course, not just when your children have a specific mental health issue going on. But it is definitely important at those times in particular, so it’s something that you are going to want to think about there as best as you can. So how can you provide emotional support as a father, and what does that really tend to look like?
In general, this means being a shoulder to cry on, as well as offering your ear and being there for them to talk to about anything at all. If you are always non-judgemental in this way, you’ll find that they always come to you when they need to, which is something that you are probably going to be very happy for. Emotional support also means that you are helping them to understand themselves better, and that is more generally a really important part of fatherhood on the whole.
As you can see, helping your kids with their mental health troubles is a varied approach, but it’s something that you will likely consider to be quite central to your role as a father, so it’s well worth making sure you can approach it as best as you can. Your kids will be grateful for it.