Struggling with your child’s mental health? Check out our helpful guide on the best ways to enhance their mental wellbeing and create a healthier environment.
In the past, mental health was frequently overlooked, especially in children. Now, more and more parents are beginning to acknowledge the importance of great mental health for children of all ages.
According to mental health expert Sherief Abu-Moustafa, the prevalence of mental health issues among young people has increased by 50% in the last three years. Unfortunately, children are not left out of this. As the number of kids who need emotional help skyrockets, more and more parents are looking for ways to provide their kids with mental support.
Here are some ways to improve your child’s mental health and ensure they feel loved and cared for.
1. Create a Safe Space For Them To Express Themselves Emotionally.
Children, like adults, experience a wide range of complex emotions. They could be feeling anything from annoyance to rage to sadness to happiness. However, they may not be able to express themselves adequately. Tell your kid it’s alright for them to feel the way they feel and encourage them to talk about it. Create activities for your kids mental and emotional health. Some kids might be hesitant to share their feelings because they are ashamed or believe they shouldn’t have certain emotions. However, it is crucial for kids to have a place where they can express their emotions without fear of reprimand or ridicule. And if they’re too shy to share, suggest they write down or draw their emotions instead.
2. Show Them How To Put Their Emotions Into Words.
Children begin developing the capacity to recognize, name, and control their emotions from the moment of their birth. You can tell how they’re feeling by the expressions on their faces, the way they move, and the games they play. When they are feeling emotional, they may act out in obvious ways, such as throwing toys or having a tantrum.
Nonetheless, it’s crucial to teach them to recognize and name their emotions. The first step in teaching children to recognize their emotions is to give those emotions names. Your kid can learn to express their emotions as they build a language for doing so. Children can learn a lot about facial expressions and how people express themselves through cartoons and picture books. This would begin to teach them to distinguish between healthy emotional responses and unhealthy ones.
3. Give Compliments Freely.
Children need to be praised to help them take pride in their accomplishments and work with an optimistic attitude toward their responsibilities. Praise encourages their natural inquisitiveness and boosts their confidence.
It helps them feel good about themselves by modeling constructive ways of talking and thinking about themselves. It’s wonderful to be able to teach them to appreciate the moments when they succeed and the value of celebrating those moments.
Children who are frequently disciplined for inappropriate behavior but rarely praised for appropriate actions may conclude that they are inadequate in every way. Give your kid credit for the good they do, and this would help boost their confidence and happiness.
4. Encourage Healthy Relationships
A child’s relationship with his or her parents is undoubtedly important, but it should not be the only relationship that counts. A normal child who is developing emotionally and socially will have many relationships with people outside of his or her immediate family, including friends and neighbors.
Even if you’re the type of parent who enjoys quiet time with your kids, it’s important to encourage them to make friends of their own. Your child’s mental health will greatly benefit from your efforts to keep these connections alive. Having positive relationships with other people has been shown to boost feelings of belonging and self-worth while also providing a safe space to receive and give emotional support. Consider the following strategies to improve your kids interpersonal connections:
- Sharing food and conversation with loved ones.
- Having hangouts with their friends gives them something to look forward to and guarantees consistent communication.
- Having less TV time or other distraction-free moments and more conversation.
- Seeing long-distance family members via video chat.
- Having them join a local children’s group.
5. Inspire Exercise and Movement
There is a robust relationship between physical and mental well-being. Your child’s energy, mood, and mental health can benefit from regular exercise, in addition to getting enough rest, food, and water. Exercise can help shift some of the uncomfortable feelings your child may be experiencing.
Feel-good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin are released during physical activity, helping people feel happier and more energetic.
6. Spend Quality Time with Them
Spending time with loved ones has been shown to improve children’s mental health and development as it makes them feel valued. In fact, it’s been shown that families that make an effort to keep their relationships strong are happier overall. Families share a unique bond, but it’s easy to take those we love for granted when we’re too preoccupied with our own lives to stop and appreciate them.
Time spent in a garden or park doing physical activity together can be both relaxing and meaningful for you and your child. Gather the clan for a day at the museum. Learn something new together, like a musical instrument, a new language, a new skill in the kitchen, or anything else that sparks your interest. You’ll find that doing so also benefits your mood and decreases your stress levels.
It is imperative for a child’s mental health to be looked after. Making sure they feel safe and loved, while helping them develop healthy ways to express themselves emotionally and socially can help make their childhood an exciting journey that helps them become confident adults. As a parent, the most important thing you can do is nurture your children in every way possible so that they grow up to be mentally and emotionally healthy individuals.
It’s important for parents to model the behavior they want their children to emulate, so practice self-care as well. Make sure you are taking care of your own mental health so that you can be a better parent for your kids. Take time out for yourself and connect with others who make you feel good about yourself. As a parent, you have the power to help your children develop strong emotional and mental health. Make it a priority and see how their lives change for the better.
It’s also important to remember that if there are any underlying issues affecting your child’s mental health, don’t hesitate to consult with a professional as soon as possible. Professional mental health services can provide the necessary tools to help your child manage their feelings and live a healthy, happy life. With the right guidance and support, you can be sure that your child’s mental health will improve dramatically.
Bonus Content: Tips for Maintaining Good Mental Health
Whether your child is struggling with their mental health or not, there are steps every parent can take to ensure their child is living a healthy, balanced life. Here are some of the tips that parents can use to keep their children’s mental health in check:
- Encourage open communication between you and your child. Make them feel comfortable talking about any worries they have, and listen attentively without judgment or criticism.
- Provide regular opportunities for physical activity. This can be anything from a family bike ride to playing outdoor games in the park.
- Encourage your child to take part in activities that allow them to express their creativity and imagination, such as art projects or music classes.
- Create a digitally-free zone at home where they can disconnect from screens and devices so they can have time for themselves and their thoughts.
- Lead by example and engage in activities that promote your own mental wellbeing, like yoga or mindfulness. Show them that it’s okay to take care of yourself.
- Create a healthy routine for your child: make sure they get enough rest, eat nutritious meals, and spend time with family and friends regularly.
- Check in on your child regularly and ensure they are feeling okay. Be open to talking about their feelings and experiences, even if it’s difficult.
- Respect their boundaries and give them the space to explore who they are without judgment or criticism.
- Allow your child to experience new things; this can be anything from trying a new food to going on a nature hike.
- Most importantly, remind them that there is always hope and help available if they ever need it. Let them know they are not alone in their struggles.
Following these tips will ensure your child has the opportunity to develop positive relationships, explore their interests, and live a healthy life full of joy and happiness. By investing in your child’s mental health, you are setting them up for a lifetime of success.
Remember: your child’s mental health is just as important as their physical health and should be treated with the same level of importance. With love, care, and guidance from parents like you, children can thrive mentally and emotionally throughout their entire lives.