(WYTV) — Most parents know to ask their children how their days are going and what they’ve learned in school. But how do parents go deeper than that?
A recent Harris poll showed that most parents would love to understand their children’s mental health and talk to them about it but they don’t know how to start. We’ll start with the Chief Medical Officer at One Health Ohio.
“Kids don’t want to be lectured. They want there to be dialog with a little give and take. So listen carefully, show empathy, encourage them to talk about their feelings and let them see you talk about your feelings,” said Dr. Maria Kowal.
A quick chat on the way home from school, a quiet talk before bed, you can always make time to keep open those lines of communication.
“It feels good to tell my mommy if I had a good day or a bad day,” said 7-year-old Chesne Thomas.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus is behind a program called Operation Conversation, supplying parents with the tools, and the tip sheets on how to begin that dialog.
“I think it’s important to have those conversations with your children so they have a forum to share how they’re feeling,” said mother Zenniere Bowry-Thomas.
Kids are dealing with pressures as never before so it’s critical to understand what they’re going through.
“There are great ways that we can treat all mental health illnesses: depression, anxiety, eating disorders. But we must have that first step of connecting,” said Pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Dr. Marcie Billings.
Do you need help with your child right now? Call 1-800-442-HOPE or visit Operation: Conversation’s website.