Time To Talk: These Are The Questions Parents Should Ask Kids About Mental Health

"What makes you feel calm?" 🙏🏼

It can be hard to get your child to open up about how they’re feeling and often, you don’t want to seem like you’re bombarding them with questions.

But getting them to talk about what makes them happy, what they’re struggling with, or even how they find calm is a good way to kickstart positive conversations about mental wellbeing.

As part of Time To Talk Day, where people are encouraged to speak about their mental health, YoungMinds shared a poster of 19 questions children have said they wished their parents had asked them.

The charity told HuffPost UK the poster is part of its ’Take 20′ campaign, which encourages parents to take 20 minutes to check in with their children and chat about mental health in less daunting way.

Some of the questions could be dropped casually into conversation when you’re doing an activity with your child, such as: “What makes you feel calm?”

Others may be used when you notice your child is feeling low, such as: “What difficulties are you facing right now?”

Here are the 19 questions to ask:

1. Who are the people you feel safe with?

2. Is there anything you want to talk about?

3. When was the last time you were very happy?

4. What makes you feel calm?

5. If you could change anything in your life what would it be?

6. What difficulties are you facing now?

7. What can I do to help?

8. I can tell that you like ___, what do you love so much about it?

9. Where is a place you feel safe?

10. Do you have any worries about starting a new school?

11. What are you most looking forward to this week?

12. It’s okay to keep stuff private, but did you want to tell me more about ___?

13. How are you coping since ____?

14. What are you worried about when you lie in bed and can’t sleep?

15. What are you dreading most this week?

16. How do you feel about things changing?

17. Is there a lot of picking on people at your school?

18. Is there anyone who is upsetting you?

19. How do you feel about growing up? What’s exciting and what’s scary?

For more information and support:

PAPYRUS: Children and parents can contact HOPELineUK for advice and support. It is confidential and you will not be judged. Call 0800 0684141, text 07786209697 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org.

Childline: Remind your child that Childline is there to give them free, confidential support and advice, 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk.

YoungMinds: The parents helpline offers free, confidential online and telephone support, including information and advice, to any adult worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person up to the age of 25. Call 0808 8025544.