The wish of every parent is to see their children grow up to become successful people in society. However, this may not be achieved without good health during their growth. Apart from providing them with good nutrition, physical activity, and basic needs, your kids’ health and overall wellbeing will largely depend on how you relate with them, and how you bring them up.
Dwelling more on matters of the brain and mind, one of your responsibilities as a parent is to ensure good mental health for your kids. They’ll rely on it in their studies, their social life, as well as their work-life in the future.
Now, just like adults, kids are also prone to mental health issues as they grow. As a matter of fact, research has shown that the majority of mental health issues develop during childhood, with at least half of the cases developing in teenagehood. However, there are things you can do as a parent to ensure your child’s mental wellness.
From seeking professional treatment to bonding activities, proper nutrition, and showing love, here are some ways parents can support their child’s mental health.
Know When to Seek Professional Help
If you suspect that your child has mental health challenges, the best you can do is get them professional help as soon as possible. As the psychiatry experts from Thrive Talk point out, various mental health treatment options can easily fit around your schedule, including medical treatment and online therapy. If treatment is sought early enough, many mental health issues are manageable and even curable. It can help your child grow up strong and mentally healthy. If your child is not mentally challenged, some things you can do include the following:
More often than not, many parents tend to lean more towards monitoring their child’s academic performance, focusing less on their personal life. While there’s nothing wrong with encouraging them to perform well in school, you could easily fail as a parent if you don’t keep tabs with your kid’s personal life. A caring parent will engage the child often, talk to him, inquire about their day at school, find out what they learned, and determine their lows and highs. When a child feels cared for and appreciated, it gives him a sense of belonging, boosts his self-esteem, and elevates his mood, which is good for his mental wellness. Spending a few hours with your child proves how much you love and care for him. You become part of his life.
Get inquisitive and try to find out the kind of friends he hangs out with, his best friend, and such. You can even ask him to invite them over for Sunday barbecue and get to know them even better. Being a parent is not just a name; it requires extra work and effort to be a good one.
Lend an Ear
Taking the time to listen to your child could be more important than you thought. Spending time and listening to your child is one of the best ways to bond and craft a healthy relationship. Sometimes all a child requires of you is just a few minutes after work to share with you how their day was. Listening to your child cultivates a stronger relationship and may encourage your child to share with you even his so-called top secrets or worst fears. Never dismiss a child no matter how petty it may sound to you. Make conversations between you two a priority and always provide solutions where appropriate.
Children love attention, always give a listening ear listening to your child’s concerns and worries. By doing this, you can be sure of promoting that good mental health for your child as he grows.
Spending Time Together
Children who spend more time with their parents tend to have higher self-esteem and feel more valued. This, in turn, helps in promoting their mental health, as they feel more positive about themselves. But this is often a challenge to most of today’s parents who always have a mouthful to swallow. Juggling up and down on different tasks such as house chores, study, work, and social life can be a real predator to parenting.
You can easily lack ample time to spend with your child, and they can easily feel neglected. For your child’s mental health, spare some time to play together in the backyard, take a walk to the ice cream shop as you catch up, eat lunch or dinner together, read bedtime stories, and so forth. This will help your child’s mental health greatly since they will feel loved and cherished.
Create a Conducive Environment
Feeling safe either at home or even at school is extremely important for a child’s mental health. This makes it important to create a welcoming, relaxing, and comfortable home for your child. At times, let him have the freedom to jump up and down on the couch and run around the house all he wants… it’s also good for his physical health. He should not be in a ‘jailhouse’ where he feels intimidated. Also, be a good role model for your child. Parents should avoid fighting or arguing in their child’s presence, as this can negatively affect them mentally. Keep your marriage problems away from the child.
Finally, you’ll want to teach your child to be respectful, responsible, and kind to others. Also, remember that social media has the power to influence even the youngest of a child. Cyberbullying is real and can have a huge toll on your child’s mental wellness if he becomes a victim.
Get to know who your child is interacting with on social media and what kind of videos he is watching at home. Also, consider monitoring their use of electronic devices like tablets and smartphones since children can easily be affected and influenced by what they come across online.