Study finds mental well-being of children top priority for Canadian parents

WATCH ABOVE: A new study has found that Canadian parents are most concerned about the mental well-being of their children. The survey of about 1,000 families puts the mental health of kids ahead of emotional, physical and social wellbeing. Christina Stevens reports.

TORONTO — A survey of about 1,000 families with children aged eight to 12 years old found that Canadian parents put their child’s mental well-being first.

Of the group surveyed, 42 per cent of parents ranked mental well-being ahead of emotional (35 per cent), physical (16 per cent) and social (seven per cent) well-being.

Companies Committed to Kids, a non-profit group, backed the study.

“It seems parents are getting the message,” said Debra Peplar, who authored the study.

“They need to be concerned about how their children are functioning and how they are coping with stress in their lives.”

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Just 21 per cent of parents surveyed rated their child’s mental well-being as excellent, while 27 percent of kids gave it the same grade.

There were also gender differences. Parents of girls rated them higher in key areas, such as perseverance, managing stress and coping with the ups and downs of daily life.

Whether they have a son or daughter — half of the parents surveyed say they’d like more support in mental well-being.

“Specifically, tips, tools, strategies, links to experts and help in how to open up the discussion on tough topics,” said Bev Deeth, President of Companies Committed to Kids.

“There is a right way to have these kinds of conversations and that is being open, being non-judgmental and being a really good listener,” added Peplar.

Parents Global News spoke to agreed their child’s mental well-being is a priority.

Marion Mason said her eight-year-old son Russell is confident and outgoing in most situations, but he’s not a huge fan of change and can be anxious in new situations.

But the support of family and friends helps him through, as well as conversations about his feelings and concerns.

“We have a lot of those kinds of chats,” said Mason. Chats she is more than happy to have.


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