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Sparking the Parent-Child Conversation This Mental Health Awareness Month

Hey parents/guardians! This May, for Mental Health Awareness Month, ditch the cringe and learn how to ACTUALLY talk to your teens about mental health – from a TEENAGER! 

Is mentioning "mental health" to your teen met with groans and slammed doors? This May, ditch the frustration and learn how to ACTUALLY have a conversation that won't make them disappear faster than a slice of pizza! Here's the good news: a teenager (yes, you read that right!) will be sharing her top 3 Practical Steps to Spark the Mental Health Conversation. Interested? Read more below!

We know it can be tough. Talking to your child/teen about anything serious can feel like navigating a minefield or walking on eggshells. But mental health is crucial, and open communication is key. Here's the surprising truth: a recent survey found that while 93% of parents/guardians want to talk to their kids about mental health, nearly 60% feel lost on how to start. Sound familiar? You're not alone. This discomfort might stem from a generational gap. Many parents didn't grow up in households where mental health was openly discussed.

So, How Can We Spark the Parent/Guardian-Child Conversation About Mental Health?

Before we get into the tips, let's talk about some things!

  • May is Mental Health Awareness Month! May is a dedicated time to raise awareness about mental health conditions and encourage help-seeking behavior. It's a perfect opportunity to open conversations with your teen about the importance of mental well-being.

  • Generational Conversations About Mental Health The world has changed! Today, teens are more exposed to pressures like social media and academic competition. Let's acknowledge these changes and adapt our communication style. Remember, open communication about mental health was less common in the past.

  • Thank You, Parents! Teens appreciate your love and support, even if we don't always say it. We know you care about our well-being. This guide is here to help you navigate those sometimes tricky conversations.

  • Myths & Misconceptions About Teenagers Teens are often stereotyped as moody or dramatic. But these moods can be signs of deeper struggles. Or, sometimes you may have heard that your teen doesn't want to talk to you, but the truth is, they need you now more than ever. Let's ditch the stereotypes and focus on open communication and understanding.

Alright, let's get to the good stuff! These are some tips coming straight from a teen's point of view. I've heard from parents that they found them useful, but hey, no pressure! Take what works for you and leave the rest. These are just some ideas to consider.

3 Practical Steps to Spark the Conversation:

  1. Establish a Judgment-Free Zone: Make it clear that you won't judge them for what they're going through. Emphasize that you're there to listen and support them, not criticize. Let them know they can talk. Let your teen know you're there for them, no matter what.

  2. Be a Supportive Ally: Respond by sharing what you can do for your teen. Share that you can either offer a listening ear, share advice and/or a strategy. Whichever feels fit for the situation.

  3. Practice Together, Empower Together: If they want to do a strategy, you can try the Belly Breathing technique together. This shows you're in this with them and helps them manage difficult emotions. If it doesn't seem suitable for the situation, you don't need to share the strategy.

It's so important to remind them you love them and remember that it's okay to make mistakes, we are humans, the most important thing is to keep trying and listen to your teen!

If your teen/child is having trouble expressing their emotions, try the “Emotion Cards: Unveiling the Power of Emotions, One Card at a Time” Card Deck, as it helps spark the conversation, with prompts/questions to identify and acknowledge the emotion, as well as practical strategies per emotion! It’s great for all ages.

Join Me This Mental Health Awareness Month to Spark the Conversation about Mental Health!

Looking for the perfect present to share with friends and family, or even yourself? Consider my Emotion Cards and Uplift Teens Today book! These gifts can help in the journey towards better mental health. Great thoughtful and kind gifts.

  • Uplift Teens Today: Coping Strategies for Mental Health (avail. on Amazon & Website).

  • Emotion Cards: Unveiling the Power of Emotions, One Card at a Time Card Deck (avail. on Website).


Taanvi A.

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