Trying to Understand.
Alicia Trautwein is both an autism and parenting coach and the creator of The Mom Kind, a website dedicated to parenting neurodiverse families. As the parent to two children on the autism spectrum, she discovered very quickly after her children were diagnosed that the information she was searching to help with her new responsibilities was just not out there. On this site, she shares her personal and professional experience as well as her expertise in parenting children with or without children. With everything that is currently going on with COVID-19, it is hard to know just how much of an impact that this time will have on children and their mental health. They are experiencing a lot of loss currently; loss of time with their friends, time spent at school, and just time spent outside of the house. This can create a lot of internal turmoil in a child and can make them pretty sad. If this is the case for your child, one thing that Alicia suggests in her article,"How to Understand and Support your Child's Mental Health," is to give your child space for their sadness. Parents like to protect their children from pain, but giving them space will actually allow them to grow their emotional strength and resilience. It is also helpful to create and maintain structure for your child to give them a sense of time and balance. Allow enough time for play and leisure without overloading them. It is also vital to your parent-child relationship that you tell your child the truth. Be honest with them when it comes to difficult situations and don't be afraid to have those honest and open conversations about everything that is going on around them. This honesty will help your child trust you as their parent, as well. You might also want to check in with yourself and make sure that you are acting as a good model for behavior. Children observe their parents behavior and model practically everything you do, so ensure that you are owning up to your mistakes when you make them and practicing healthy habits daily. Mental health issues are rising in children, so it is crucial that you are supporting your child's mental health and doing your best to understand them and help them in any confusion. Labeling your emotions can be difficult for anyone, but especially for children. As a parent, you can help them understand the emotion they are feeling and then give them space to internalize that emotion and grow from it.