A child’s mental health determines how they feel, behave, think and act. Their cognitive and emotional developments depend on how they process emotions and thoughts from a young age. Unfortunately, the social stigma dictates that ensuring a child’s physical well-being is more significant than protecting their mental well-being. Now, it is high time to reassess this stance and break out of this misconception; because the mental health of children is as important as their physical health. Let’s find out some basic ways of protecting a kid's mental health.
How to Support Your Child’s Mental Health?
Forming the right kind of habits and thought patterns that can protect your child’s mental health is not an easy chore. To help parents succeed in their journey to protect their child’s mental health, this article has brought forth 10 well-researched tips and techniques.
Expressing and showing love
A sense of belonging is created in children when they feel loved, welcomed, and accepted. Often, parents disregard the importance of making it a point to show or express their love as it is in a parent’s nature to love their offspring.
But to a child, a simple gesture of love may go unnoticed until they are reassured of the love and acceptance they are surrounded by.
Embracing them or telling them how much they are loved are, thus, as significant as expressing your love through other gestures of love. When children observe these expressions of love, they grow up to channel their emotions better and form stronger and healthier relationships in the future.
Validating their feelings
Children often go through bouts of sadness and anger which is considered normal child behavior. As their caregiver, it is imperative to validate all of their feelings. Invalidating or ignoring their emotions hampers their mental health to the extent that they can grow up to be shameful of certain emotions.
Contrarily, if they are encouraged to talk about their feelings, and their emotions are recognized, they feel seen and heard. They become prone to validate their own feelings and begin to develop a sense of self-esteem where they can depend on themselves for mental support. These children are also good communicators of their emotions and hence, can deal with problems better.
Showing how to deal with problems
A child learns how to deal with adversities from the people they are surrounded by. If the caregivers give up easily in the face of an obstacle or simply choose not to take risks in fear of failure, the child imitates this behavior. Children who develop these behavioral patterns show signs of anxiety and even grow up to be anxious adults with other mental health issues like depression and panic attacks.
On the other hand, if a child is taught that it is okay to fail while solving a problem, that there are several ways to solve a problem or to think of a solution without panicking, that child learns to take care of their own mental health.
Asking questions and listening
As a parent, asking your child questions shows that you are interested in their lives. Asking about their day or their interests in life can make them feel more connected to the caregivers. Children long for this bonding and doing so helps to protect their mental health to a great extent. Listening to them without any distraction while they answer is also significant as it shows them the importance they have in their parent’s life.