Nov 17 , 2022
If there is a way to help our little children to stay mentally healthy, we ought to try it. And luckily, there are various ways to do that.
At some point in their childhood, most children might experience emotional problems that will resolve with time. Others might need professional support to overcome their challenges.
Mental health affects how we think, act, react, and feel about ourselves, others, and our environment.
We are good at keeping our children physically healthy. That means we ensure they eat well, are active, and have good physical health. Regarding their mental health, parents need to learn how to help, what to look for, or identify a problem.
Kids' mental health influences every aspect of their life, even their physical health and emotional, spiritual, or social well-being. Having good mental health, children perform better in everything. From self-confidence and perseverance, they learn new things, think clearly, decide healthily, and manage difficult emotions.
It is essential to have an excellent mental and physical start in life so that in adult life, they have the necessary skills to manage big emotions and situations and avoid substance abuse or negative behaviors to face their feelings.
Being mentally healthy as a kid means learning how to deal with problems and functioning well at home, in school, and communities. Parents are known for playing the most crucial part in fostering good mental health. What we say and do, we are either promoting or not good mental health.
How can parents help?
Spend time together regularly! A strong relationship with their caregivers and siblings plays a massive role in every child's mental health. Being present offers children a sense of safety, a place, and a person they can turn to whenever they need it or feel it. Spending time with your kids gives you information about them and works on communicating their struggles, passion, talent, and so on.
Communicate and listen! It is important to talk, to tell you about their feelings, good or bad, and accept being angry, sad, and frustrated. Encourage talking about their emotions by asking questions and finding a good time to talk. Start by asking them to share about their day, how it was, what felt good and what felt less good, and start from there. This will give you opportunities to help them manage their feelings and thoughts healthily.
Offer unconditional love and support! Every child needs to know they are loved no matter what, no matter their accomplishments or what is expected from them.
Encourage connections! Your child should connect with others in the community. Having friends and going to different age-appropriate activities and events gives children a sense of belonging, a place of their own in the little world around them, where they can learn to interact with different people.
Create healthy routines, limits, and choices! Having boundaries and routines like bedtime, limits on screens, playdate rules, or how to treat others helps children to adapt to their environment and feel safe and secure. It's okay to be flexible but avoid big surprises or changes without previous preparation.
Work on confidence and self-esteem! Feeling good about oneself it's essential for both children and adults. Praise them when they do well, and acknowledge their effort and achievements while helping them be realistic about their goals.
PARENTS SHOULD take care of their own mental health! Looking for your mental health is one of the most important things you can do to support those around you, especially little ones. Feeling worried, sad, scared, or helpless during difficult times is okay. But working on coping with these feelings will benefit you, your children, and your family's overall well-being.
When to ask for professional help?
Usually, all children feel low and angry. They change their behavior or don't like doing things they typically want to do. They feel anxious and avoid social interactions. If these changes don't ease with time but rather go deeper and deeper, it might be time to ask for professional help.