Tips for Talking with Your Kids

A Parent’s Guide to Wellness

Elyse Fox, founder of the mental health nonprofit Sad Girls Club and mom to Basel, shares how parents can support their kids’ mental health through open conversations—and help them better navigate life’s anxieties and stresses.

Last updated: August 4, 2022
3 min read
Tips for talking with your kids
  1. Normalize talking about feelings.

    Create a routine of checking in with your kids about their feelings—before or after school or at the dinner table. “I heard this is happening in the news. How does it make you feel?” is one example Elyse suggests. “We think children aren’t aware of what’s going on, but they are,” she says. “And with technology, they have access to any information. You have to understand what they’re taking in and how to navigate those conversations.” Give them space to digest and share their experiences.
  2. Find the right approach to communication.

    When it comes to communicating, every child is different. Elyse believes finding a communication style that resonates with them is key. “Some children want to have a conversation, and with others, you might get a bigger response if you text them from the next room. Give yourself grace to find the information that will be healing for your child in the way that works for you.”
  3. Build trust and safety.

    Elyse encourages parents to practice a relationship of trust. “Children can be fearful of the consequences of sharing their deepest, darkest secrets about how they’re feeling mentally,” she says. “Amplify what you’re doing as a parent to make your child feel safe. Let them know that they can reach out to you if they feel unsafe. ‘You can text me, you can call me, no questions asked,’ or, ‘I’ll ask some questions, but I’ll be there for you regardless.’”
Tips for talking with your kids

“Through my work with Sad Girls Club, I want to build a future for Basel where he doesn’t have to worry about feeling like an ‘other’ or like he’s less than because his mental health is declining. I’m putting things in place so he has resources and access to conversations that are healing.”

Elyse Fox,
Mom to Basel and Founder of Sad Girls Club

For more expert advice on Play, Sport, and Wellness, explore our Parent's Guides to Back to School.

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