'It took her telling me that I put too much pressure on her to get me to kind of reevaluate,' said the mom
Just a thought about taking a day off from school to take care of their mental health seems impossible to many. So, when Tiffany Turner-Moon's 13-year-old daughter asked for a day off school to focus on her mental health, the mom couldn't help but give her parenting skills a second thought. “I used to be a parent who was like, ‘My kid had to have perfect attendance and had to be on honor roll,’” Turner-Moon tells TODAY.com. “It took her telling me that I put too much pressure on her to get me to kind of reevaluate and say to myself, ‘You know what, she can miss a couple of days and still be on honor roll.’” These days are the time when her daughter emotionally rejuvenates herself.
These days include "a lunch date and Starbucks and Target run, to an appointment with her therapist or just a walk outside," says the mom. She also discussed how her daughter takes day off her school and yet manages to do well. These leaves add to her daughter's well-being, shared Turner-Moon, or @tiffanytmoon on TikTok. This is an idea many parents can explore as it can facilitate well being of their kids. As per the experts, "Actually making that choice is hard, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a good choice,” says Jessi Gold, a psychiatrist and assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis.
“We tend to have really high bars for missing anything that’s achievement-related, so work and school fit in there,” Gold tells TODAY.com. “Even with physical illness, we tend to have a very, very, very high bar for what counts. And I think mental health struggle is within that because a lot of it is invisible, and it’s hard to explain to people and some people either stigmatize it or don’t understand. It's really important that you have open and honest communication and that you understand when your kid is telling you they need something," she says. "I think it's important that it's not such a high bar that they feel like they could have never asked for it, or that they would never 'earn' it, I guess you'd say, by being so sad or so anxious."
"I grew up in a time where kids were seen and not heard, and mental health wasn't a 'thing,'" says Turner and adds, "And my mom is a retired registered nurse, she knows mental health is a thing, but it still wasn't the same in our household. So I just want to stress — communicate with your kids." Dr. Marcus Hotaling, director of the Eppler-Wolff Counseling Center at Union College says, "Are they still interested in the things that they were interested in?" he said. "Are they wanting to be social? If they're more of an extroverted student and then all of a sudden they don't want to be around people, are they exhausted? And it's not because they've been up late or studying late. They're just worn out. They're tired. Are they feeling drained?" The experts suggest relaxing, reflecting and making changes in life to have an overall better life.