Chris Mc Ardle

Children's Book Author

What Every Child Needs for Good Mental Health

Different children have different needs. However, understanding how to provide your child with emotional support and validation is crucial for their upbringing.

Raising a child to be confident, independent, and secure isn’t as difficult as it seems. Here are a few things you can do to make sure your child’s emotional needs are being met:

Provide Them with Unconditional Love

Providing your child with unconditional love doesn’t mean enabling bad behavior. It’s about not withdrawing emotional support and affection. It’s about still loving them through thick and thin.

For example, even if your child hits their sibling, screams at people, and throws a tantrum, you cannot withdraw your affection from them as a punishment. This could lead your child to believe your love is conditional on their behavior. While your approval of their actions can certainly be conditional, your love and affection never should be.

Be Kind and Patient

When your child cries, make sure you’re gentle with them. Be kind and understanding. Don’t invalidate their feelings by saying something like, “Stop crying” or “You’re too old to cry.”

Tell them that it’s okay to feel how they feel and provide a solution to their problem. Ask them if they would like to do something to help distract them. Do they want some ice cream? Do they want to help make dinner? Do they want to go for a walk?

Words of Affirmation

When your child does something good, make sure to appreciate them. When they’re stuck or fail at something, make sure to be kind and give them feedback.

For example, if your child fails their test or can’t solve a puzzle, tell them, “It’s okay. You can do this later. You will figure it out because you are smart.”

When they excel at something tell them, “See? You have what it takes to be great! I am so proud of you!”

Now imagine your child facing a frustrating situation. Maybe your child got in a dispute with a friend at school, or your daughter didn’t get the part in the play she expected. Or maybe your toddler is upset that you need to leave the playground.

In these situations, it helps to acknowledge and validate what your child is feeling. Similar to empathy, validation increases the security our kids feel with both their own emotions and their relationship with us. It lets them know that we understand what they’re feeling and experiencing.

Things like, “I’m sorry. This must be frustrating for you” and “I understand you didn’t want to leave the playground because you enjoy playing there.”

Then let them know why they have to leave or why they should not fight with their friend.

These are a few things you can do to help your child emotionally and regulate their feelings.

If you want to educate your child on things like compassion, gratitude, love, and friendship, we recommend reading the book, “Gepetto Introduces Mushroom Land” by Chris McArdle.

It is one his most recent works that teaches children important lessons and helps them safely explore the world around them.

He focuses on morals and values, kindness and compassion, as well as gratitude. He is the author of several children’s books, all of which have unique characters that make learning a fun experience.

The book is available on Amazon and Kindle: https://amz.run/76Cr

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