When it comes to your children, we know that no lengths are too far for you to travel to in order to keep them safe, healthy, and happy. In today’s world, that sometimes seems like quite the feat, as children often endure bullying and depression.
Stop a Bully cites that 64 percent of kids in Canada have been bullied at school while 12 percent were bullied regularly (meaning one or more a week). Furthermore, 13 percent of those surveyed reported that they bullied schoolmates once or more a week and 72 percent observed bullying at their school at least once in awhile.
Clearly, this is a prevalent problem in today’s society and it must be addressed. Luckily, there are ways to proactively work against bullying and depression for your own kids. Keep reading to learn about the simplest and most effective ways to do so.
Encourage open and honest communication with your children
The first effective way to prevent childhood depression and to prevent bullying from becoming an issue is to practice open communication as a family. Talk to your children often about what is going on in their lives and ensure that they feel like they can always divulge to you what is on their mind. Triggers that are known to prompt depression and anxiety in kids are a big change (switching schools, moving, and so on) or a traumatic life event, so talking frequently in the wake of those issues is particularly important.
Support their self esteem
Help your children find things that they are good at to inspire confidence in them. This may seem like a tall task, but even little things will help them to be more confident in themselves. For example, giving kids the power to make choices for themselves (where reasonable, of course) can help them feel empowered. Also, encourage them to indulge in their interests and develop their passions – whether that means they play on a soccer team or take an art class.
Have a pet in the house
NBC News reported that kids that live in homes with pets are less likely to have anxiety, as 12 percent of children with dogs tested positive for clinical anxiety, while 21 percent of children without a dog showed the same result. This can be attributed to the fact that pets – especially dogs – are incredibly in tune with the communicative cues of humans. For that reason, they are able to aid in the healthy development of children. It is a great reason to consider a pet when you have kids in the house. Plus, who doesn’t love having a wagging tail to come home to?
Give your kids life experiences
Allowing your children to have life experiences – for better or worse – starting at a young age can help them develop emotionally in a stable and healthy way. While it is difficult to see your kiddos disappointed or to experience a “failure”, allowing them to work through those emotions and frustrations can help them to gain resilience and emotional stability.
Above all, always be a source of stability and support for your kids so that you are the first person they come to in the event of a problem. Raising kids is no easy task, but these simple tips can make it easier to protect your children and their mental health.