Learn about emotional wellbeing
How emotional wellbeing impacts your children
Emotional wellbeing is the full range of emotions, behavior, ideas, and relationships of a person. Your emotional wellbeing is like your physical wellbeing, where the healthy side of the spectrum means your body and mind are working to perform the tasks and functions to keep you comfortable and able.
Emotional wellbeing impacts every aspect of a child’s life
Learning to take care of themselves and developing empathy is crucial to a child’s growth and education. Teaching children to recognize, manage, and express their emotions in a healthy way can positively affect their life.
When children recognize and communicate their feelings, their path to learning and developing the skills they need to succeed becomes much smoother.
Help your children by normalizing talking about emotions
When you talk to your children about their emotional wellbeing, you can help them develop a way to describe their feelings.
Talking about emotional wellbeing also teaches children that understanding and talking about their feelings is an important life skill.
If you can teach your children to talk about their feelings and emotions in a casual, non-intimidating way, you’ll make it easier for them to come to you when problems arise.
Be patient and vulnerable to encourage your children to talk
Sometimes, a child may struggle to talk about their feelings. But it doesn’t mean they don’t want to. Sometimes, children may have a hard time trusting and opening up to adults. Other times, they might feel a sense of loyalty to friends and not want to talk about a particular subject that involves them.
The best thing you can do is to gently and patiently create the space for them to talk to you. It might help to be open and talk about how certain situations can make you feel. Helping your child relate to you can help them trust and want to open up more.
Ask and listen to feedback from others
Pay attention to feedback from other people in your child’s life.
Check with trusted teachers, family members, and coaches. They see your child in contexts that you might not be as familiar with so they may have a different perspective.
Now that you're well versed in emotional wellbeing, review our specific steps for having a conversation about these topics:
How to know if your child may be experiencing a problem
Look for clues:
- Changes in habits, such as eating, sleeping, self-care, or socializing.
- Mood swings or irritability.
- Difficulty or neglect for self-care, personal hygiene, etc.
- They are fearful, or avoiding certain environments, situations, or social interactions altogether (like avoiding going to school or meeting friends).
- Using drugs or alcohol, especially changes in typical patterns of use.
- Anger or getting in fights, suddenly not getting along with others.
- Increases in reckless, impulsive, out-of-control behaviors.
- A decline in school performance.