Children First: Focusing on your child’s mental health
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Amid school, social media and pandemic pressures, kids are no strangers to stress.
Licensed marriage and family therapist Addison Torossian says if your child is acting out of the ordinary, it could be a sign they’re struggling with anxiety.
“Not doing family activities, saying they’re tired or headaches, a lot of those symptoms occurring,” she said.
We spoke to Ahmad Bahrami, an expert with the Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health.
He says from breathing exercises to outdoor activities, there are many ways kids can cope, so find what’s fun for them.
“Physical activity, going for a walk, dancing, a family bike ride, ” he said.
Whether sitting down to dinner at the end of the day or going for a walk, experts emphasize that family time is essential.
“We have different schedules, but we make time for each other in this type of setting where we’re doing things together,” says Cassie Rettig.
Staying active is also essential to good mental health.
It’s something Rettig, a full-time mom of three, practices with her kids often.
We caught up with the busy parent between a morning of errands and time with her kids.
“It really makes a difference in how they operate day to day,” she said. “We have a lot less tantrums and outbursts and frustrated emotions. I’ve noticed now that we’re involved in a lot of routine activity.”
Family time and staying active together are now a part of their routine , two great tools mental health experts say to help kids de-stress.
“Even a game night, just a card game, it’s an early intervention where you’re spending quality time with your child,” Torossian said.
If you notice your child seems anxious, something as simple as breathing exercises can help them de-stress.
“You can find apps, videos, things like that where you do exercises just asking your child to take 10 long, slow, deep breaths,” Bahrami said.
Simply talking to your kids and starting the conversation can also open the door to a better understanding of why they’re struggling.
Remember, every child is different, and having that conversation can be the first step to helping them let go of their stress.
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