Despite being a grown-up adult, poor mental health can traumatize you and leave you in a lonely space. Now imagine your child who is just half your age, or even less, experiencing the same mental health issues. Such a worrying situation, right? It doesn’t have to come to that point if you take proper care of your child’s mental health. But while it is easy to understand their physical health needs, it is much more challenging to understand their mental well-being. For instance, you know that your child requires nutritious food, routine sleep, and vaccination for physical health, whereas the mental needs are not that obvious and vary from child to child. Hence, we have compiled a list of tips that can help you nurture your child’s mental health.
How to Nurture Your Child’s Health
Physical and mental health goes hand in hand. A mentally fit child is usually physically healthy, and vice versa. Hence, being a parent, it is of utmost importance that you take care of your child’s mental well-being along with looking after his or her physical health. Here are some tips that can help.
Build strong and positive relationships
It is essential to stay connected with your child. Try to place yourself in your child’s shoes to understand how they are feeling. Also, it is not only about your relationship with your child. Your child will have several relationships with other family members, their teachers, and friends. You can talk to them about how they feel about others at the school or family members. This will help them talk about any stress they are going through, making it much simpler for you to monitor and help with their mental well-being.
Listen to and respect their feelings
While it is vital to build trust with your children and make them talk about their feelings, listening to them is also crucial. Whenever your child is trying to speak with you, forget everything else and be attuned to what they say. Try to look out for any signs that can lead to mental health problems. You can also ask questions to keep the conversation going. This will make your child feel that you care for him and her.
Help them develop self-esteem
Developing and boosting their self-esteem is of utmost importance. There are several ways to do this, some of which are:
- Teach them to love themselves.
- Praise them for achievements or whenever they perform well.
- Recognize their efforts and appreciate them.
- Help them set goals.
- Tell them that everyone makes mistakes (One of the best ways to do this is by telling them your failures; they will relate with them easily and quickly).
- Avoid comparing them with others.
- Give them space and opportunities for independence.
Remember that appraising them for their efforts will encourage them to explore and learn more, leading to overall mental growth.
Seek professional help if needed
Seeking professional help for children may sound not needful, but depending on your relations with them, there are times when they might not feel comfortable talking to you about some things. That’s when professionals come into the picture. You can seek help from child counseling services to ensure that your children can communicate how they feel. If need be, you can also attend counseling along with your child. This will help foster trust and build a healthy relationship between you and your child.
Take time to play with them
As mentioned earlier, physical strength is inter-related to mental well-being. Hence, it is essential to encourage your child to play and do some physical activities. You need to put your work aside and take some time out to play with your children. There are numerous benefits of playing with your children, one of which is that your relationship will strengthen. Another advantage is that playing will also make you happy and forget your worries. When your children see you happy, they too will let go of all their problems and concerns and enjoy playing games.
Mental health conditions are growing among children. If we talk about the USA alone, approximately 7.7 million children, i.e., around 1 in every 6, suffer from mental health problems. Similarly, in Canada, roughly one-third of children are not getting proper health care. As mentioned earlier, adopting the tips will build trust between you and your child by creating a safe home environment. Remember that it is also essential to seek professional help if you see any signs of mental health disorders as early intervention can mean a lot of difference.