Like every concerned parent, you probably take your children to their well-child checkups, immunize them, provide good meals, and assist them with their academics. But do you consider looking after your child’s mental health?A child’s mental well-being is equally as crucial as their physical well-being.
According to the CDC, one in every five children is dealing with mental health issues. As a parent, you should take the following steps to ensure your child stays on top of mental health:
1. Maintain Consistency
Never underestimate the value of consistency. Predictability and structure are two things that children thrive on. They want a concrete strategy for the next phase in their day, clear repercussions for disobeying, and rewards for following the guidelines set out for them.
Disruption and major life changes can be particularly trying on children. When they have trouble processing emotions, they often retreat andget anxious. If your children have a routine and know what to expect daily, they will be better able to control their emotions.
Indeed, staying consistent may be difficult, especially if you are undergoing an issue such as substance abuse. Therefore, you need to attain sobriety by finding a nearby rehab facility through serenityatsummit before you expect yourself to be consistent.
2. Identify And Address Red Flags
Some kids are more self-conscious or pessimistic by nature than others. That might not be a concern. But if your child is getting nervous about normal stuff like making new friends, it could be an alarming sign. Similarly, if you regularly notice a significant shift in their mood or behavior, it may cause concern. Keep an eye out for signs of distraction, restlessness, and agitation.
After finding these symptoms, you should inquire about the nature of the problem with openness and patience. Stay away from the temptation to pass judgment or offer unsolicited advice. The point is to give the kid a voice and a chance to be heard when they have issues. Try following up with questions like “And then what happened?” to obtain a sense of the bigger picture. Reiterate the emotions you assume your child was experiencing. “I cannot imagine how annoying that was,” or “My God, that must have been terrifying.” Being heard and understood is especially important during trying times, as it makes children feel supported.
3. Reach Out To Your Kid’s Teachers
Teachers play a crucial part in the emotional development of their students. Children place a high level of trust in their educators and often seek their guidance. Unfortunately, most parents do not connect with teachers apart from typical parent-teacher meetings. This communication gap could be detrimental to your child’s mental health.
Building rapport with teachers enables you to convey your child’s unique requirements. As a result, they can employ the right teaching tactics and keep academics from taking a toll on their mental health. Sometimes a teacher might also come up with feedback that will reveal key insights about your child’s overall mental health status.
Connecting with teachers is not as difficult as many parents assume. Teachers will usually tell you the best ways to contact them and may even inquire about your preferred method of contact. However, if that is not the case, you can get the staff members’ emails on the school website or by calling the front desk.
4. Criticize Bad Actions, Not Your Child
The words you use around children drastically influence their mental health. Without adult guidance, children cannot make the right decisions. So instead of calling them “bad boys” or “bad girls,” try saying things like, “it was not the correct thing to do.”
If you constantly criticize your children, they will begin to believe they are not up to par with others. It will destroy their sense of self-worth and, in some cases, even build up their feelings of animosity. Rather than giving in to your child’s tantrums, you should address their actions by explaining why it is wrong.
5. Instill Stress Management
Even if you do everything in your power to shield your kid from traumatic experiences like abuse and bullying, there may still be times when they undergo stress. Hence, you should prioritize teaching stress management. It will provide your child with appropriate coping mechanisms to deal with stress. They will, for example, almost certainly experience social tensions and academic failures at some point. To help your children develop resilience, impart some knowledge to face such hardships.
This could necessitate devoting more time to one another and discussing their concerns. However, you should let your kid dictate the pace of conversation. Intense mental strain and emotional distress may result from excessive verbal exchanges. Also, you can assist your kid in developing a unique strategy for relieving stress. For example, when feeling down, one child might benefit from jotting down their thoughts, while another would prefer to talk to a friend over the phone.
6. Play With Children
When kids have heavy emotional baggage, it often comes out in their play. Providing children with the opportunity to play enables them to process difficult emotions such as sorrow, loss, or fear. During play, they can communicate feelings and thoughts they have difficulty putting into words. For example, let’s say your kid has seen you and your spouse argue. Well, the odds are, they might act it out with their dolls.
Additionally, when you play with your child, it consolidates your overall connection. Because you are your child’s first and most consistent playmate, you can provide a stimulating environment for growth and socialization. Parents can better understand their children’s experiences and viewpoints through shared play.
Parents may easily recognize their child’s physical needs, such as healthy meals, appropriate clothing for the weather, and a consistent nighttime routine. But a kid’s mental health requirements could be harder to notice. Children who are mentally healthy can think rationally, grow socially, and acquire new skills. Therefore, considering the importance of mental health, you should strictly follow the measures covered in this post.