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As a parent, we try to keep our child healthy and fit physically, but do we really care about their mental health? Nutritious food, warm clothes, and a spacious bed can satisfy your child’s physical needs, but what about their emotional needs?
Mental health issues can happen at any age. Infants and toddlers also have these issues. Yes! You read it right. Good mental health is very important for a child’s healthy development. Good mental health allows children to speak about their problem without hesitating, and learn new social skills each day. Additionally, encouraging words from parents act as a cherry on the top for improving the children’s self-confidence and healthy emotional outlook of life.
Children having good mental health always show healthy relationships and close bonds with family and friends. They manage their feelings and are able to cope with challenges.
What Every Child Needs for Good Mental Health
Being a responsible parent, we should provide a safe, happy, and healthy environment to your kid.While not all mental health issues can be prevented, you can take steps to help keep your child’s mental health good. Being the mother of a daughter, I have realized that this care should not be limited to a few days; you need to follow this throughout!
Keep a check on physical health:
I try to build a healthy living environment with my daughter at my home by involving her in my activities, and letting her explore the imaginations. I keep her away from the junks by trying out different, healthy, and exciting alternatives.
Moreover, my husband and I spare time from our schedule to do a tad bit of exercising every day. I try to tell the benefits of each activity to my daughter to keep her conscious and mindful. Moreover, we plan her bedtime so that she gets adequate sleep every day.
Give children unconditional love.:
There are many times when my daughter sits idly and stresses out a bit. I have learnt that kids often crave acceptance from their parents. The relationship between parents and children should be open and secure.
Your child should know that your love won’t get affected by their accomplishments. When the home is full of affection and unconditional love, kids grow and set realistic goals.
Nurture self-esteem and confidence:
It’s important to encourage children’s first steps every time to boost their self-confidence and esteem. We often try new games for our daughter as it helps her to explore new things in the surrounding, and become an active participant.
The best advice I could ever give to any parent is to avoid harmful and sarcastic comments whenever their kid fails to do anything. It can discourage them and can lead to mental issues.
Make time for play:
Be a playmate of your child and allow them to lead while playing. I usually play a lot with my daughter, and sometimes I let her win purposely to boost confidence. Outdoor play which includes running and yelling, helps children to be physically and mentally healthy.
Give your children enough time to play with peers. It helps children to discover their strengths and weaknesses, develop a sense of belonging, and learn how to get along with others. Take them to neighbourhood park or play zones.
Talk about feelings:
As a parent, there are many times you will lose temper and might end up hurting your kid; even I do that sometimes. But I prefer talking about my feelings to her and staying as transparent as I can.
And as I am open to my daughter, even she speaks out her problems and feelings without hesitating.
When to Seek professional help
Research says that 1 in 5 children experience a mental disorder in any given year. The following symptoms can be sign of social or emotional concerns in a young child.
Babies and toddlers (0–4 years)
- In case your child is are consistently not sleeping well or having a change in their sleeping patterns
- Showing food refusal and consistently not wanting to eat.
- Always seems to be distressed, restless, grumpy, or irritable.
- Being less playful or having limited types of play or games that they like.
- Excess clinginess and consistently not wanting to be apart from a parent.
- Avoids eye contact with you.
- Often cry less and avoid making any attempts to get their needs met like being fed, having their nappy changed.
- It is normal for children to have tantrums at times but if they are too much yelling, kicking, hitting, biting and damaging things around them.
- Takes lot of time and shows lots of difficulty calming down when upset.
The exact cause for most mental health problems is not known. Not all the problems of kids can be resolved by parents. In severe cases, you need to take the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist as they use a combination of therapies and treatments to help your kid cope with mental problems.
Be there with your kid when they need you the most because a little ignorance affects their brain adversely.A strong relationship with your child will makes you emotionally active. And these emotions have positive affect on your child’s mental health. Enjoy every little moment, because if you don’t do it now, you may regret it later! Happy Parenting!
‘This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter‘
I am writing 26 post in this series .Do check my earlier post