Ways to promote good mental health in children

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When it comes to raise children, parents usually tend to focus on their physical health more than their mental health. Most parents think that as children grow their mental health grows with them. What they don’t realise is that the mental growth process can be ensured with certain actions and habits. For every parent, it is important to understand the real value of a child’s mental health. Because children with good mental health grow confident and feel good about themselves. They are also more inclined towards taking up new challenges and explore something new.

So, in a way, positive mental health is the key to success. That’s why as a parent you must get involved with your children’s mental health process and take all the measures that you can to fast-track its growth. Here are eight simple ways through which you can help your children develop positive mental health.

Model positive habits: To ensure that children develop positive mental health, parents must model good mental health habits around the house. Children notice everything their parents do. When parents show irrational behaviour, shout at each other and raise their voice, children think that’s how people behave all the time. This will make a really bad impression on their mental well-being. Therefore, the more positive you stay, the more positive your children will grow.

Show unconditional love: There’s nothing more positive than a parent’s true love for the child. For children, a daily dose of love works wonders for their mental well-being. Unconditional love lets them know that they don’t need to accomplish something to be loved by their parents. Unconditional love helps them grow confident about themselves and makes them feel better and optimistic.

Nurture self-esteem: Self-esteem is one medicine that always enables children feel good about their abilities and keeps them on the right track. When parents praise their children’s efforts or encourage them to take up something new, children get a sense of achievement and trustworthiness. Even a simple “well done” helps build self-esteem in them, which, in turn, fills them with confidence and their brains give out positive vibes.

Listen to their concerns: Apart from love, your children also need your time and presence to share their concerns with you. Children also go through tough times. When you listen to their concerns, it tells them that they are important to you. Also, children sometimes are not able to describe how they feel. Here, use your observing powers and initiate a dialogue. Trust us, when you inquire about their concerns, they will feel already at ease.

Ensure they sleep well: Sleep deprivation is the enemy of good mental health. Sleep deprivation gives birth to anxiety which slowly turns into stress. For proper mental development, children need at least 8-10 hours of sleep. Setting a specific bedtime can help your children sleep well and enough to wake up refreshed and fully active.

Give them personal space: As children grow they go through many physical and mental changes. These changes call for specific needs. One of them is getting their own personal space. This personal space is their haven where they can think freely and be at peace. It’s like their retreat zone within which they feel empowered, and seek answers to their questions. Give your children their personal space to ensure that they grow mentally strong.

Let them play often: Playing is every child’s birth right. Playing helps them to de-stress, have fun and wash the day away. They make friends while playing and spend the best moments of their lives. The more they play, the better they feel. As a result, their mental health gets better. So whenever your children are done with homework or have free time, open the door and send them out to do what they love to do – play.

Take them out on weekends: Weekends are supposed to be fun. And the outside world is full of fun activities. Taking your children out on weekends not only strengthens the parents-children bond, but also breaks the mundane routine that children are usually tied up with. Weekend outings help children relax and get stress out of their heads. Visiting zoos, museums, recreational parks, malls, movie theatres, etc. gives them different life experiences and broadens their horizon. The enjoyment they get out of these visits helps them grow mentally strong.

For the overall development of children, both physical and mental health are important to consider. Mental health ensures that children feel good about themselves and think better. Thinking better enables them to manage their daily routines, like school hours, relationship with parents, playtime with friends, better. Children with good mental health grow to be responsible and tend to enjoy life more.

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Tom Bronson

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