By Jamaica Thompson
Mental health, words that we hear almost everywhere nowadays! From maintaining our mental health to bringing attention to the importance of recognizing the effects of poor mental health in others, this topic is an important one. When we think of mental health concerns, we often picture conditions such as depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. However, mental health also includes other areas of cognitive functioning, including learning and developmental disorders such as dyslexia, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder, among others. When children struggle with these issues, how do we, as parents and educators, support their growth and development while maintaining their self-esteem and confidence? Talking about their challenges with our children may sometimes be difficult and uncomfortable, but it is extremely valuable!
As parents and as educators, we embrace the philosophy that having strong self-awareness, and an understanding of one’s own strengths and challenges, goes a very long way towards empowering children. Because we work with a specific population of students who experience these challenges on a daily basis, we feel that it is important to discuss them openly, exploring what is happening in the brain that makes certain things like reading, focus, and social communication difficult. By creating an environment where these challenges are recognized, acknowledged, and addressed through supportive and consistent intervention, our students learn to love and appreciate their own brains, and they develop the confidence to acknowledge and tackle their areas of challenge!
Talking with your own children about mental health, mood disorders, or learning challenges can be difficult! It’s important to create an atmosphere of care and support where your child can feel free to ask questions, and get honest feedback, without judgement. For motivation and advice on how to address this topic with your children, take a look at how some of our past Lighthouse students have addressed their own learning and mental health challenges:
You can also check out articles written specifically for younger kids and teens on how to handle all types of emotional and social challenges at:
- Kids Health: Feelings- My Emotions, Behaviors, Thoughts, & Feelings (for kids)
- Kids Health: Mind- Mental Health (for teens)
Take the opportunity to talk about mental health and learning disorders with your children today. Increasing awareness and erasing the stigma surrounding these topics begins with you as a parent!
If you are interested in learning more about how Lighthouse Learning Solutions addresses these challenges, and how we might be able to support your family, please contact us or submit a Learning Support Inquiry.