When a child gets bruised while playing or catches a cold or merely gets bumped, we as parents are extremely quick to rush to the child and provide the aid. What about the instances when the child feels low, anxious, or distraught? Often these times are neglected thinking that the child is just moody. What we need to realize and accept is that a child’s mental health is equally as important as his/her physical health.
Taking care of a child’s mental health from an early age is equivalent to making the pillars of a house strong. Often our physical issues are somewhere triggered due to poor mental health. Good mental health assists your child in developing socially, physically as well as emotionally. The mental health can affect how a child behaves, thinks, feels and understands.
Mentioned below are tips to take care of your child’s mental health:
Teach your child how to do breathing exercises. These exercises play a crucial role in relaxing the child when stressed. Begin with teaching the child how to take proper deep breaths and then move forward.
Insist that the child gets physical activity during the day whether it is through playing a sport or doing some form of exercise. Physical activity releases hormones that help in improving the child’s mood and distressing him/her. The importance of physical activities and exercises for taking care of mental health whether it is of a child or an adult cannot be stressed enough.
Speak to children about emotions. Doing this begins with having a conversation with the child. Ask how your child is feeling, whether it is about a particular situation at home or an incident in school. Talking to the child will help you figure out what is bothering him/her. Only then will you be able to help him/her address the issue on hand.
Build a relationship with your child based on trust. A sense of security and safety is created when the child trusts the parents.
Help children develop their self-esteem. You can do so by praising the child. Make sure the praise is realistic. Even if the child does not successfully complete a task, make sure you praise his/her hard work and efforts.
Work on positive ways to solve issues and conflicts with your partner as well as other members of the family as these conflicts affect the child too.
Be realistic and kind with the expectations you have from your child. If children are not able to fulfil your expectations, it will take a toll on their confidence and self-esteem.
If your child does make a mistake, make sure you don’t criticize the child. If your child engages in inappropriate behaviour, criticize the behaviour by telling him/her how wrong they were to behave that way but do not criticize the child.