How to Raise an Emotionally Healthy Child

How to Raise an Emotionally Healthy Child

Typically parents are encouraged to promote their child’s intellectual and athletic abilities.  And while these are important, I want to add emotional health to that list.  If I’m completely honest, I would like to make it the top of the list (surprising, I know, coming from a therapist). But I would argue that emotional health will affect all aspects of their life and will positively affect the ability to gain other skills.  Here are a handful of ways you can support your child’s emotional health, starting at a young age:

  • Label their emotions at an early age to build their understanding, and so one day they can tell you what they feel.
  • Let them have their feelings without trying to fix them or make them go away. Help them learn to tolerate difficult feelings rather than fear them or fix them.
  • Label and share your own feelings to help them develop empathy and recognize what feelings look like in others.
  • Read books and watch movies that show characters with a variety of feelings and discuss these feelings with your child.
  • Help them develop healthy coping skills for big feelings.

-Stephanie Samudio, LCSW

 

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