We recently celebrated World Health Day yesterday, April 7, which marks the date of inception for the World Health Organization (WHO), in 1948. I’ve actually spent some time today researching the website (www.who.int) and I felt deeply sad and overwhelmed by the numerous health crises we are facing around the globe today.
Because our interest is CONSCIOUS PARENTING, I will focus on MENTAL HEALTH in this article. WHO states on their website that:
- Globally, 1 in 7 teenagers (10-19 years of age ) experiences a mental disorder.
- Depression, anxiety and behavioural disorders are among the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.
- Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds.
“Multiple factors affect mental health. The more risk factors adolescents are exposed to, the greater the potential impact on their mental health. Factors that can contribute to stress during adolescence include exposure to adversity, pressure to conform with peers and exploration of identity. Media influence and gender norms can exacerbate the disparity between an adolescent’s lived reality and their perceptions or aspirations for the future. Other important determinants include the quality of their home life and relationships with peers. Violence (especially sexual violence and bullying), harsh parenting and severe and socioeconomic problems are recognized risks to mental health.” (cited from WHO website) .
What can we do as parents to ensure optimal mental health development of our children, no matter the age?
I came up with SMART as an acronym to answer this question. I hope it’s helpful: Start SMART in Mental Health.
- Safety: psychological safety is paramount; the child needs to feel safe to make mistakes, and to express who he/she is ( the Authentic Self).
- Modelling: we must model self- care, self- awareness and emotional regulation as adults, if we want our children to self-regulate their emotions and build mental resilience.
- Attunement: we attune to the child’s needs and internal states, meet their needs, show empathy and compassion, while remaining aware of our own internal state ( pay attention to triggers; separate the stories).
- Relational Holding: we are the safe containers of our children’s emotions, an empathetic witness; we strive to nurture a secure attachment relationship.
- Trust: we build trust by constantly showing-up as conscious parents; by keeping our promises; and by never giving up on our own process of personal growth and healing. Trust comes from honesty, humility, curiosity, communication and compassion.
BOOK YOUR CALL WITH ME TODAY.
FROM A MOM IN MY PROGRAM:
From working with Mihaela, I get understanding, hope, and compassion for my kid. I understood that in order to be a better mother I need to heal, constantly and with commitment work on myself, have compassion for myself… I also get the tools to build a stronger relationship and thus create a positive attachment with my 13 year old daughter. Last but not least, I get the opportunity to constantly grow and go through situations in the weekly coaching calls that are a priceless resource. In these 2 years alone, I would have paid at least 9,000 $ for the 60 coaching sessions I had so far. Thank you Mihaela, from the bottom of my heart in the name of our family