Your Child’s Mental Health

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Mental well being is an extremely important aspect of one’s individuality as it affects the way people think, feel and act. Taking care of one’s mental health is just as crucial as having a healthy body. As a parent, you play an important role in your children’s mental health. You can ensure your child’s mental well-being by following these small steps:-

  • You can promote good mental health by the things you say and do, and through the environment you create at home.
  • You can also learn about the early signs of mental health problems and know where to go for help.

How can parents nurture their kids’ mental health?

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STEP 1- Help your child build strong, caring relationships:

  • It’s important for children and youth to have strong relationships with family and friends. Spending some time together each night around the dinner table helps achieve that.
  • A significant person who is consistently present in a child’s life plays a crucial role in helping him develop resilience. This person, often a parent or other family member, is someone your child spends a lot of time with and knows he can turn to when he needs help.
  • Show your children how to solve problems that arise.

STEP 2- Help children and youth develop self-esteem, so that they feel good about themselves. You can do so by:

  • Showing lots of love and acceptance.
  • Praising them when they do well. Recognize their efforts as well as what they achieve.
  • Asking questions about their activities, paying attention to their interests.
  • Helping them set realistic goals.

STEP 3- Listen, and respect their feelings:

  • It’s completely alright for children and youth to feel sad or angry. Encourage them to talk about how they feel.
  • Keep communication and conversation flowing by asking questions, paying attention and listening to your kids. Mealtime can be a good time for such discussions.
  • Help your child find someone to talk to if she doesn’t feel comfortable talking to you.

STEP 4- Create a safe, positive home environment:

  • Be aware of your child’s media use: TV, movies, Internet, gaming devices
  • Be careful about discussing serious family issues such as finances, marital problems, or illness around your children. Children can easily begin to worry about these things and this can have a negative impact on them.
  • Give ample time for physical activity, play, and family activities.
  • Be a role model by taking care of your own mental health. You can do so by talking about your feelings and making time for things you enjoy.

STEP 5- In difficult situations, help children and youth solve problems:

  • Teach your children how to relax when they feel upset or stressed. This could be done by deep breathing, doing something calming, spending some time alone, or going for a walk.
  • Discuss possible solutions or ideas to improve a situation and how to make it happen. Try not to take over and involve your child as much as you can.