Listen to and value their thoughts, emotions, actions and encourage their inherent curiosity. This basic first step can go a long way in helping children open up and share their thoughts.
Various studies have shown that long-term success and fulfillment have its roots in our ability to regulate our emotions. Help your child name their feelings from a young age. Encourage them to build an emotional vocabulary by labeling their feelings.
If your child is upset, don’t say “Stop crying.” Mirroring your child’s feelings lets them know that it is OK to feel every emotion, and you are also encouraging them to share their feelings with you. If parents show strong disapproval of “negative emotions”, children will learn wrong ways of emotion regulation.
Dedicate some time everyday only to your child, and engage with them in activities that you both enjoy. Convey to them that they are important and valued. This will go a long way in enhancing your child’s self-esteem.
As parents, we are constantly aware of our child’s physical needs, but it is equally important to be mindful of their emotional and mental health needs. Just as we take our child to a doctor if they have a fever, it is also important to take steps towards their emotional and mental well-being.