As fathers have taken their time and paid attention to their sons’ health and well-being, it’s time for moms to start sending the same messages, experts say.
The trend, which started after the 2009 pandemic, is catching on with moms and dads alike, said Michelle L. Smith, PhD, director of the Center for Child Well-Being at the University of Washington.
It’s also getting attention from employers, too.
“What you’re seeing is moms and fathers, both employers and parents, are recognizing that dads have more time for themselves,” Smith said.
“And it’s a growing trend.
It could be happening at work as well as in the home.”
Moms and dads can take a look at some of the ways their relationship has improved over the years: In the past, it was about keeping a close watch on the children, helping them feel supported and getting their kids to the doctor as soon as possible, Smith said, adding that moms also need to be vigilant about keeping their kids away from toxic substances.
“There are so many things that can be done to help protect them from toxic chemicals that can take effect quickly,” she said.
But it’s not just about avoiding chemicals or keeping a strict watch on your kids’ behavior.
There are also a number of things moms can do to help them stay connected with their children and their well-Being, Smith added.
Some of these tips will help keep you in touch and keep your kids connected with you and your loved ones, she said, such as keeping an eye on your child’s health and staying active.
Some tips also include using a safe technology, like texting or calling your child.
And you can check on your children’s progress, too, as many parents do with their kids, she added.
“It’s important to be on the lookout for signs that your child is not responding well,” Smith added, noting that if your child has a fever, sore throat, headache, or other symptoms that make it difficult to communicate, he or she may need to go to the emergency room.
Also, you should be checking in on your son’s well-beings, Smith warned.
“When we talk about a child’s well being, that includes their well being at home,” she added, “so the first step is to be sure that your son is being as healthy as he can be.”
So how do you keep in touch?
“Make sure that you’re on the same page about what your child needs, and what he or her needs,” Smith advised.
“Keep a conversation going and ask questions, especially if you know that you are a little bit different than the other parent,” she explained.
If you can’t make the conversation, “it can be a challenge,” Smith noted, adding, “It is the best way to keep in contact with your child and keep their well wishes coming through.”
Be aware of any medications that you may be taking, she also advised.
There is an increased risk of suicide among kids who take prescription medications, especially when they’re under the age of 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, and for other mental health problems, talk to your doctor about medications that may help.
“If you know you are not in agreement with your doctor’s prescription, talk with them about alternative therapies, or see your therapist,” Smith suggested.
Smith said that there are also other ways to stay connected and to support your child: Stay connected on Facebook and other social media sites, she suggested.
“You don’t have to have Facebook,” Smith told NBC News.
“Just keep a smile and a lighthearted smile.”
Also, if you are worried about your son getting too far away from you, you can always send a text message to him or her, and he or they will send a reply.
Also consider using your phone’s voice recognition function to text and call your child, and keep the contact information on file with the phone company, she advised.
Be aware that using your smartphone could be a distraction, so use a tablet, phone or other device that is not connected to a computer, Smith suggested, such a smart watch, or your smartphone app, she noted.
You also should not use your phone while driving, Smith advised, adding: “Don’t drive when your children are not at home.
Use a carpool.”