Children and their Mental Health
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
1 in 10 children are affected by a mental health condition- most of which are a direct response to what is happening in their life.
It won't be just one change that leads to a mental health issue, it'll be events that can trigger certain emotions and reactions that can build over time.
It can be really bewildering for a family when a child experiences mental health issues, it is important that you support your child and ensure they do not have to battle their mental health issues alone. Early intervention is so important!
So, why am I talking about Children's Mental Health whilst discussing Family Law?
Children can develop anxiety, as well as other mental health conditions, during a family court process.
Usually if a contact arrangement gets to court there will be some form of alienation or allegations being made, otherwise it would have been able to be resolved either between themselves or through mediation. Children can pick up on this, so its essential that all the "right" language is used around them.
Children don't need to think you're "fighting" or that one person is "winning" and the other "loosing".
The Mental Foundation believe the following are important in keeping children mentally well:
feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe
being interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves
being hopeful and optimistic
being able to learn and having opportunities to succeed
accepting who they are and recognising what they are good at
having a sense of belonging in their family, school and community
feeling they have some control over their own life
having the strength to cope when something is wrong (resilience) and the ability to solve problems.
These are traits we can instil in our children. Ensure they feel trusted with every bit of information they share with you, that you understand why they behave the way they do!
Ensure your children have some sort of control, let them make decisions, ensure they have access to all the possibilities available to them. They need to know about their background, who everyone is in their family, be able to contact all of their family, that they have control over it and not other people.
Teach them resilience, things aren't always going to be perfect, but there is always a way to solve problems, there is always a better way to react.
There are all sorts of stats and figures I could give you, such as suicide is the biggest killer in under 35's, they are out there if you want to research them! I really wanted to focus on what you can do as a family, especially in times of separation to assist your children in feeling better.
Early intervention is so important if you notice your child struggling
Do not wait until rock bottom has been hit. This is the same for both children and adults!
If you need any help or assistance get in touch, I offer a 30 minute free call!