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  • Writer's pictureDr. Susan Halverson & Dr. Jorie Shire

Nurturing Your Child's Mental Wellness

Expert Tips from PCI Pediatricians

As we welcome the new year, the PCI Pediatrics team understands the critical role parents play in fostering the mental wellness of their children, adolescents, & teens. In a rapidly changing world, prioritizing mental health is essential for a child's overall well-being. Our dedicated pediatricians are here to provide practical tips to empower parents in promoting resilience & emotional health in their young ones.

Establish Communication

Encourage regular & open conversations with your child. Create a safe space for them to express their thoughts & feelings, ensuring they feel heard & supported. This lays the foundation for trust & helps you stay attuned to their emotional needs.

Understand Stages

Recognize that each stage of childhood & adolescence brings unique challenges. Stay informed about typical developmental milestones to set realistic expectations. Our pediatricians can guide you in understanding age-appropriate behaviors & emotions.

Teach Coping Skills

Help your child develop effective coping mechanisms for managing stress & challenges. This may include deep breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques, or creative outlets like art & journaling. Our pediatricians can provide guidance on age-appropriate coping strategies.

Foster Healthy Relationships

Cultivate positive relationships within the family & encourage healthy connections with peers. Social support is crucial for mental wellness, & strong relationships contribute to a child's sense of belonging & security.

Encourage activities

Support your child in exploring interests & passions. Hobbies & extracurricular activities provide a sense of accomplishment, boost self-esteem, & contribute to a well-rounded

& resilient individual.

Monitor Screen Time

Be mindful of your child's screen time, especially in the age of technology. Excessive screen exposure can impact mental health, contributing to anxiety & depression. Establish reasonable limits, encourage outdoor activities, & engage in screen-free quality time as a family.

Prioritize Quality Sleep

Ensure your child gets adequate sleep, as it plays a vital role in mental health. Establish a consistent bedtime routine & create a sleep-friendly environment to support optimal rest & emotional well-being.

Stay Informed

Familiarize yourself with local mental health resources & organizations in Cedar Rapids. Knowing where to turn for support when needed is essential. Our pediatricians can connect you with community resources tailored to your child's specific needs. If your child or adolescent is expressing suicidal thoughts or plans, immediately call 988 or your primary care provider.

As you embark on this new year, PCI Pediatrics encourages parents to implement these practical tips to nurture the mental wellness of their children, adolescents, & teens. By fostering open communication, understanding developmental stages, & incorporating positive habits, you play a crucial role in shaping a resilient & emotionally healthy future for your family. Together, let's create a community where every child can thrive both physically & mentally.

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