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Mental Health Messages for My Son

Messages that I want my son to grow up hearing, seeing and believing:

All emotions are safe, valid and important, and can stay for as long as they need to stay. It is OK to not be OK. I will sit with you in your suffering, for however long it may last.

You do not need to be exceptional, perfect or productive to be loved, liked, worthy or affirmed. Whoever your authentic self is, I adore you.

We all have big, bad moods sometimes. I extend to you the same grace that I would want extended to myself. There is no pressure to always be polite or pleasant.

You can have opinions that are different from mine — in fact, I encourage it. You are your own person, and that is a beautiful thing.

Your body is a safe space; you can trust your body. You are in control of yours, just as others are in control of theirs.

Self-care and self-compassion are beneficial for humanity.

When you are older, if you ever need a no-questions-asked mental health day from school, I will support you.

A banner promoting The Mighty's new Self-Care Lounge group on The Mighty mobile app. The banner reads, Taking care of yourself is important, but that doesn't mean it's easy. Join the Self-Care Lounge group so you can prioritize you. Click to join.

As a parent, I will make (and have already made) so many mistakes — and that is OK. I will strive to use those times as opportunities to model healthy apologizing, fostering a growth mindset and practicing self-compassion. But I won’t always be perfect, either. (And that’s OK, too).

No matter what, you are always, always, always wanted and loved, more than your wildest hopes and dreams.

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