IntroductionParents ensure that their kid enjoys the best physical health. They make sure that their kid's diet is healthy. Parents also encourage to play more so that the physical development of kid does not get hindered in any way. However, when it comes to mental health, they hardly pay any attention. They are completely ignorant of the fact that the mental development of the child is as important as physical development. Parents instead of neglecting this area should take the responsibility of playing an important role in promoting a kid's mental health. Parents are the role models for their child. Thus, every word they say and every action they perform influences the kid. Parents should, therefore, behave responsibly and create a perfect environment for their kids to promote their mental development. They should also look for early signs of mental issues in their kid and prevent diseases or disorders from developing. Below-mentioned is effective tips for parents to boost mental health in their kids.
Why care for mental and emotional health in early childhood?Neural connections form rapidly in infants and toddlers. Thus, right from the early years, care should be taken that kid grows in a safe environment. The kid should not be exposed to a stressful environment or any bad experiences. This kind of adversity is not good for brain development. Early childhood experiences will lay the foundation on which the kid will build belief systems. Sometimes the beliefs are so strongly formed that no matter how old the child grows, those beliefs cannot be changed. Kids who receive support, warmth, love and respect from parents and elders of the house grow mentally healthy. Those who have adverse experiences and end up growing in unsafe environment suffer from various mental issues. Mental health determines emotional health. Since mental health is deteriorated in such kids, they cannot convey their emotions well.
Events that affect the mental wellness of kidsThere are lots of risk factors that can disturb the kid resulting in insolation from everyone. Soon the kid will show various behavioural changes such as temper tantrums, loss of appetite, poor performance in academics and other activities. Below-mentioned is listed some of the risk factors that can emotionally disturb kid and affect mental wellness.
Parental tips to promote good mental health in kids
Parents must spend enough time with their kid, no matter how busy they might be in their professional lives. Communication is the key which helps the kid to open up to parents. Keep communication open. Ask the kid various questions and enthusiastically answer the long list of questions the kid comes up with. The kid must know that parents are always there, no matter what circumstances arrive. For that, parents must spare some time from their daily lives and make some effort. It will build a strong relationship between parents and kids.
Trust ensures the child that parents will take care of him/her in every possible way. Parents are not just there to take care of the kid's hunger or thirst but also when the kid is emotionally vulnerable and weak. Reach out not just during physical sickness but also when the kid is emotionally low. Emotional recovery is far more important than physical illness. Thus, do not neglect it or break the promises as it may break the trust. Consequently, the child will cut down from parents and feel more depressed and sad.
Parents should never compare their kid with other kids. Also, do not teach the kid to compete. The motto should be to become a better version of oneself. Right from a young age, teach the kid to better every day. On the other hand, competition teaches to become better than others. When the kid gets in the never-ending race, it is very likely to meet failures and disappointments which will invite stress and depression. Thus, do not develop these unwanted qualities in the kid.
The more the kid talks about the feelings and emotions, the more easily parents will be able to understand the problems. Do not scare the kid and create circumstances that can cause an emotional shutdown. Allow the kid to speak what's in the heart through words, drawings or through different means. Never feel that young kid does not suffer from mental issues or stress. Mental problems are becoming common now a day, and anybody can suffer from them. Thus, if parents wish to keep their kid mentally healthy and strong, they should ensure to keep communication open. They can ask various questions and also answer and clear kid's doubts.
During early childhood years, parents are the role models for their kid. It is because the kid spends maximum time with parents and feel safe and secure in their company. The role of the parents is to create an environment for their kid in which good mental development takes place. If parents themselves are dealing with lots of anxiety issues and are always stressed out, how can their child grow emotionally strong? No matter how much they hide their mental issues and problems, it gets reflected in their attitude and indirectly affects kid's mental development. Thus, to boost good mental health in kid, parents should make sure that they remain free from mental issues. When they are happy, peaceful and contented, the kid grows up mentally healthy.
As described earlier, stress and mental disturbance can affect anyone, irrespective of their age. If parents feel that their young kid easily gets disturbed and at times, feel sad or stressed out, teach different techniques to the kid to cope up with the problems. Teach to relax the mind through yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises or by indulging in the favourite activity. Identify the issues causing these kinds of trouble and try to eliminate them from a kid's life.
Help the kid in various walks of life. Irrespective of whether the kid fails or passes, accept him/her with love and respect. It will boost self-confidence in the kid. Acceptance will enable the kid to develop love towards self. It is a feel-good factor. Appreciate the kid not just for the achievements but also for the efforts and values. Teach how to set goals and work towards the goals. High self-esteem will keep the mind healthy. Achievable targets will serve as an exercise to the brain and keep it active and fit.
Parents who are very close to their kid can easily detect behavioural changes which could be a sign of anxiety, mood swings or stress. In response to any of the traumatic experience in life, the kid may display changes in behaviour such as not eating enough or sleeping well. There will be temper tantrums. The kid may show irritation or constantly remain sad and depressed. The kid may shut down the communication, and perform poorly in class in academics and other extracurricular activities. Parents can stop the condition from worsening by detecting the early signs and knowing the factors that are triggering such behavioural changes in the kid.
Physical, intellectual, social and spiritual are the four pillars of life. Physical health has a lot of impact on mental wellness and emotional health. In the absence of good physical health, a kid cannot remain mentally healthy. Thus, right from a young age, make sure the kid follow a healthy diet. Also, let kid play, exercise and sleep for adequate hours. At the same time, social wellness also plays an important role in deciding the state of mind. Teach the importance of being in a good social circle. Likewise, teach moral values and inculcate lots of goodness that lead on the way of spirituality. When all the four pillars of kid's life are equally focused, the mental health and overall wellness will be at its best.
Parents should make every possible effort to keep the kid mentally healthy and prevent mental illness. However, sometimes all the efforts that they make do not yield effective results. In such cases, seek professional help. Sometimes, parents and guardians may not be able to determine the root cause of what's disturbing a child. In such cases, a counsellor's help is necessary. Parents should not hesitate to talk about the behavioural changes of their kid to the paediatrician and counsellors. They should not think that their child is too small to have any mental issue. Consultation pays off. The counsellor will determine what's disturbing the kid and help the kid to overcome all the issues by eliminating underlying factors and by developing resilience in the kid.