Mom Winning

How to do a Mental Health Check-In with Kids


A Mental Health Check-In with Kids is one of the best routines you can establish with your kids starting at age five. This is ours. As a parent, it's important to check in with your kids on a regular basis to ensure that you stay connected and up-to-date with their lives. A weekly check-in is a great way to do this, and it doesn't have to be complicated. Here is a routine and checklist you can use with your kids over five years old.

As a parent, it’s important to check in with your kids on a regular basis to ensure that you stay connected and up-to-date with their lives. I discuss the importance of this during Week 6, Self Care Week, over on Instagram. A weekly check-in is a great way to do this, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here is a routine and checklist you can use with your kids over five years old.

Mental Health Check-In with Kids

First, set aside a specific time each week to do the check-in. This could be during dinner, before bed, or on the weekend. If you’ve been following me for a long time, you’ve seen what we call “team Talks” happen in my stories since they were 5 years old. Make sure everyone knows when it is and that it’s a priority.

Use a checklist to guide the conversation. Start by asking open-ended questions like “What was the best thing that happened to you this week?” or “What was something that was challenging for you this week?” Then, move on to more specific topics like school, friends, and extracurricular activities.

Make sure to actively listen to your child and show empathy when necessary. It’s hard, but avoid trying to solve all of their problems, and offer support and guidance when appropriate.

Finally, end the check-in on a positive note. Celebrate their successes and encourage them to keep working towards their goals.

By doing a weekly check-in with your kids, you’ll strengthen your relationship and show them that you care about their lives.

10 Questions to Ask

Here are ten questions you can ask your kids to help you understand how they’re feeling and coping with life’s challenges:

  1. How are you feeling today?
  2. Is there anything bothering you that you’d like to talk about?
  3. How are things going with your friends?
  4. Are you getting enough sleep?
  5. Do you feel stressed or anxious about anything?
  6. Are you enjoying your hobbies and (extracurricular) activities?
  7. How is school going for you?
  8. Have you experienced any bullying or teasing lately?
  9. Is there anything you’d like to do differently to improve your mental health?
  10. Do you feel comfortable talking to me or someone else if you need help or support?

By asking these questions, you’ll gain insight into your child’s mental and emotional state, and you’ll be better equipped to support them through any challenges they may face. Remember to listen actively, validate their feelings, and offer support and resources as needed.

It takes time for these strategies to take effect, so be patient and consistent. You’ll get there and you won’t regret it. My boys are now 9 and 10 and we still do these check-ins. The most rewarding part is that they now initiate them whenever they need them all on their own.

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