Giving our kids the best is relatively easy when it means choosing between premium products, setting a bedtime schedule or picking out new clothes for their first day of school. However, giving them the best also entails emotional and intellectual support, not just giving them a roof over their heads. Here are four ways you can support your children as they grow up and help them to avoid insidious physical and mental healthconditions including depression and addiction.

Richard TaiteAs the CEO and founder of the Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center in Malibu, California, Richard Taite has developed a successful treatment protocol that includes specific evidence-based interventions reflecting the Stages of Change behavioral model. At Cliffside Malibu, Richard is dedicated to helping addicts overcome their addictions so they can lead their best lives. As a hands-on CEO overseeing daily operations.Richard is co-author of the book Ending Addiction for Good, completedjust prior to his 10-year sober anniversary. He lives the life he always dreamed of with his wife and daughter in Malibu.

Editor: Nadeem Pasha

Make time for their passions.

When it comes to depression and addiction, the best defense is still a good offense. One of the most effective ways you can help prevent the onset of depression or substance use disorders in your child is by recognizing and tapping into the activities that make them the happiest. Focusing on their strengths will naturally encourage your child to view themselves through this lens too, hopefully circumventing feelings of inadequacy in the first place.


Create an “open door” policy. 

As a parent, you are your children’s first line of defense against anything that could hurt them in this world, including their own misperceptions about their self-worth. Make sure your children know they can come talk to you about anything, and that you prioritize their well-being. Reward your children for trusting you enough to come to you with their problems, even if what they tell you puts your anxiety levels through the roof. Showing your kids that you love them unconditionally and that they can trust you with difficult experiences and emotions will go a long way in preventing the feelings of isolation and disconnection inherent to depression and substance abuse.