Mental health in children is becoming a matter of attention. Mental health is closely linked with both the physical and spiritual well-being of a child. What goes in the mind will surely have a powerful impact on the thought process, speaking, and behavior of an individual.
It has a profound impact on character development. Hence, you need to be careful when it’s about your child’s mental health.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it has been estimated that one in every 5 children suffers from mental illness. Anxiety stands among the most common mental health disorders among children.
Disorders or poor mental conditions, if left untreated can have dire consequences for your child’s health. Therefore, you need to help your child delve into the right mindset since it’s not only healthy for the mind but will nurture into an air of positivity! So, we have compiled the top 10 tips to improve your child’s mental health. Follow along!
1. Pay Attention To The Cues
This is where you do the groundwork to help your child flourish mentally. As a parent, you may want to be mindful of the non-verbal cues you get from your child. It is essential that you are fully devoted to your child’s mental health and emotional well-being.
You must be willing to reach out to your child and understand their physical and emotional needs even when they don’t express directly to you. You must be able to identify when your child needs your support. A talk or discussion on a matter to help your child feel comfortable is needed and this need must be sensed by you as a parent.
You as a parent must provide a safe corner to your child so whenever they feel down they come to express to you instead of falling in distress and trying to reach out to someone else. So, be mindful of the non-verbal cues that your child gives to you.
2. Get Close To Your Child As Much As Possible
While it comes to giving mental health tips to parents to nurture their child, it comes as no surprise that closeness is and will always be the key. If you find your child in a low mood, you may want to inquire about the day at school. Being friendly is another thing, but empathetic is what you have to prioritize.
As mentioned earlier, you ought to create a safe space for your child to open up their feelings to you. By getting close and providing this safe corner, you ensure that your child nurtures as a healthy individual and understands the significance of the family as a social institution.
Remember, you may want to control the behavior of your child and reinforce acceptable behavior when you find the need to discipline them. It’s important that you don’t overdo it with strict discipline. Instead, you have to be empathetic and must inquire with an open mind that really is causing that unacceptable behavior.
3. Let Your Child Taste Failure And Distress
A common mistake that parents do is that they put curtains on their child’s behavior. Allowing your child to rest in their comfort zone is not recommended at all. You must be willing to allow your child to taste failure. It is essential to experience failure since it will help your child in building a strong character.
In addition, it will develop qualities such as patience, resilience, and mindfulness. Instead of being overprotective about your child’s insecurities and saving them from distress, you ought to encourage self-managing stress. Exposing your child to failure and distress in life experiences will nurture them better as they will grow up as more self-aware individuals.
Mastering self-awareness is important for good mental health. Remember, you have to be empathetic and educated about being resilient and help them learn from mistakes to emerge as a stronger being that confronts challenges in a healthy way. It’s a key mental health tip for parents looking to nurture their children.
4. Elevate Mental Health By Providing A Healthy Routine
A disturbed routine or lack of structured activity during the day is what triggers stress not among younger children but also adults. It is highly recommended that people establish a routine and follow it. Poor mental health is often the cause of a lack of structure in life.
Understanding mental health is of critical importance especially since it has spillover effects. Deteriorating mental health will come in conflict with both the physical and spiritual well-being of your child. So, ensuring that your child remains in a healthy state of mind is essential.
As a parent, you ought to show responsibility in educating the need for a good routine to your child. Limiting fun or play activity by any strict means is not recommended at all. Instead, allow time for everything and set boundaries to control unwanted behavior. To save your child from low mood encourage building a healthy routine.
Besides, reading can enhance the intellectual capacity of your child. Plus, it’s an amazing habit and must be part of your child’s daily routine. You can also consider reading stories to your child initially so that they perceive it as a fun activity.
5. Communicate The Need For Healthy Socializing
If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health and emotional well-being, you may want to look around them. Examine your child’s social life. It’s important that your child is positive towards socializing.
Your child’s socialization is what will nurture and help them grow into an amazing human being. So, another mental health tip for parents is to invest in healthy socializing of their children. Social media’s widespread use has brought a lot of people on the internet and helped them connect with numerous others. However, by healthy socializing we do not mean to encourage more social media use, instead, we recommend you bring a balance between digital socializing and face-to-face interactions.
Encourage your child to go outdoors and play team sports and meet people outdoors. Face-to-face interactions with friends in the neighborhood and with playmates in outdoor games will help develop your child a strong, and more confident personality. So, as a parent, you have the responsibility to communicate the need for healthy socializing.
6. Help Your Child Build A Healthy Body
If you’re worried about how to improve your child’s mental health, you may want to pay close attention to your child’s physical activity as well. The mind has an intricate link with the body. As mentioned earlier, a person in an impoverished mental condition may find it hard to keep a healthy body.
Childhood is a period that requires great care and attention from parents. This will have a profound impact on the personality of your child and how their adulthood emerges. So, it is important that your child remains both mentally and physically healthy during their childhood.
From your side, invest in educating the need for exercise, playing a sport, and healthy sleep. Mental health is often affected by poor sleeping habits. The body’s optimal functioning may be compromised if your child is not getting enough sleep.
7. Praise Your Child & Say ‘No’ To Sarcasm
As a parent, you can improve your child’s emotional well-being by identifying the need to praise them for good behavior. To help your child develop a strong character, avoid giving sarcastic remarks and you ought to dodge toxicity with friendliness, warmth, and positivity.
We don’t recommend praising your child excessively as though praising would boost up their confidence. However, praising for an invalid reason will decrease the likelihood of self-check to control behavior by oneself. Hence, you may want to appreciate your child for a good reason.
In addition, sarcastic remarks that are aimed at criticizing behavior would not necessarily make your child abandon it. In fact, sarcasm often leads to confusion and is not healthy especially for children. On the flip side, you may want to have an approach towards critique that is constructive criticism.
Your responsibility as a parent is to communicate feedback for certain behavior and educate the need to take corrective action. Therefore, as a parent consider praising your child and realize the importance of your role as a feedback provider.
8. Become A Playmate For Your Child
As a parent, you must know your role as a primary playmate for your child. Encouraging play is healthy and you can get your child into games and sports both indoors and outdoors by being their partner in crime. Provide the essential company of a best friend that your child desperately needs. Help your child find friends within the family.
Outdoor games are essential for your child’s both physical and mental growth. Plus, playing team sport will allow your child to channel their energy in the right direction and provides an opportunity to have mild physical activity as well. In addition to outdoor games, you can also motivate your child in playing board games with the family.
Play something that excites your child. You can encourage playing chess as it will enhance mental health. So, another mental health tip for parents is to become a playmate for their child.
9. Encourage Expression Of Feelings
When it comes to improving the mental and emotional well-being of your child you need to be careful about their emotions. Whatever is bothering your child, you need not encourage them to suppress it. Emotions must be expressed with an open heart. However, as the guardian of your young kid, you may want to have a watch on the surfacing of negative emotions.
Determine what is surfacing negative thoughts. It is essential to help your child confront negative thoughts and overcome them and channel their emotional energy in expressing positive, healthy feelings of love, compassion, friendliness, and care.
Most children refrain from expressing negative emotions. As mentioned earlier, you need to look for cues and find out what will remedy negative emotions. Don’t be too strict or consider alienating negative emotions. They are common in childhood. All you need to do is help your child to cope up with these emotions and find the strength to overcome them.
Restricting emotional expression will only increase the distance between you and your child, and result in poor communication. Therefore, it is essential that you provide a safe corner to your child to express their emotions and educate the need to distinguish between positive and negative emotions. Overcoming emotions of hate, jealousy, and others need to be educated. On the other hand, embrace happiness, love, joy, and respect.
10. Fight Negative Thinking And Embrace Positivity
The word positivity may sound like a simple term but is unimaginably powerful. A lesson each one of us will constantly learn throughout our lives is to embrace the positives in life and cross out the negatives. If your child is let down by poor performance in Math or in a team sport game at school or anything, you need to show responsibility in acknowledging negative thoughts as soon as they surface.
Encourage learning. Tell your child that failure is the first step towards improved performance and guaranteed success. It is really important to see failure as a learning opportunity. You as a parent need to put your child in a growth state of mind. Embracing the idea of practice makes perfect rather than praising gifted talent. Educate ethics and hard work with a positive state of mind instead of hunting shortcuts. Help your child build resilience by accepting the fact that highs and lows are part of life.
In conclusion, you as a guardian of your child can do everything to nurture your baby into an amazing human. It is essential that you value the mental health of your child and acknowledge the need to provide a safe space for your kid to express themselves. Embrace positivity and eliminate negative thoughts. Remember, to improve your child’s mental well-being, you need to know their thoughts. Get close as much as you can.