Focus on family well-being

We all want the best for our children, so they can grow up happy and harmonious. Unfortunately, studies show that many children increasingly experience expectation stress, for example at school and on social media. Because our society focuses on the individual, children may also feel that they are responsible for their own well-being. 

Here you can learn more about what you should be aware of if your child shows signs of poor mental well-being.

3 signs of poor mental well-being in children

Children may go through periods of negative feelings and reaction patterns, which is normal for children and does not necessarily mean that they suffer from poor mental well-being. If you as the parent worry about your child’s well-being, it is important that you are open and pay attention. Early action and support may be crucial in getting your child back on track.


Physical pain or discomfort

Especially in small children, frequent stomach aches, restlessness or headaches may be symptoms of feelings that they cannot verbally express. Remember to always rule out any illness by consulting a doctor, however.


Changes in eating and sleep patterns

Poor sleep quality, trouble falling asleep and excessive appetite or loss of appetite over a long period of time. These signs could indicate that your child is struggling and that you need to take action.


Reduced social skills

Pay attention to changes in your child’s mood. Does your child seem sad or on edge, or has your child suffered from physical pain or discomfort over a long period of time? If your child withdraws from social activities or suddenly does not want to go to school, this may be an indication that you need to take action.

How to help your child overcome signs of poor mental well-being

Listen to your child

Show interest in and respect for your child’s reactions and feelings and accept that your child may not be ready to talk. Children often open up about their feelings and thoughts when performing everyday activities, for example on a car trip or while peeling potatoes.

Take control

Make your child feel safe by providing support, a sense of perspective and guidance. Your child may express special needs for a period of time, for example by having a stronger attachment to one parent or a greater need for closeness, intimacy and attention.

Show confidence in your child

Recognise your child’s good intentions, initiatives, experiences and skills, so they believe in themselves and get the tools and confidence to help solve their challenges. This works for adults and children alike.

Prioritise attentiveness

Prioritise giving your child the opportunity to engage in fun and nice activities with you and/or other adults and children. Base the activities on what motivates your child.

Stop feeling guilty

When a child suffers from poor mental well-being, many parents tend to blame themselves and feel guilty. Remember that you are good enough and that you are doing your best. When you prioritise your own well-being, you actually help your child much more than you know.

  • Self-care

    It is the same as with oxygen masks on an aircraft; you need to put on your own mask before helping your children. If you lack energy and peace of mind, you will not be able to help your child properly, so make sure you hold on to the breathing spaces that boost your energy in your everyday life. 
    Whether it is a jog, a cooking class, a winter swim or something completely different.

  • You are doing a better job than you might think

    Your guilty conscience does not help anyone. On the contrary, your anxiety and worry may intensify your child’s negative behaviour. Remember that you are doing your best – what more can anyone ask of you?

  • The most important thing is attentiveness

    Spending time with your child does not always have to involve home-baked bread or trips to amusement parks. Everyday activities, such as grocery shopping or other daily routines, also count as quality time.

  • You can still ask your child to pitch in

    A child suffering from poor mental well-being does not necessarily get better by being excused from doing their share of daily chores. On the contrary, being expected to do so may give the child a sense of being an indispensable part of the family unit. Although it may be a fight, you will benefit from insisting on your child keeping agreements and doing their daily chores.

  • Try to maintain your everyday life

    It is best for both you and your child to maintain your everyday life. Share your concerns with your employer, so that you can come up with a plan together that will take the pressure off you for a period of time. Your work identity is also an important part of you and your family, so think carefully before you decide to give it up.

A lot can happen in a year. Does your pension scheme fit your current life situation?

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