Teaching Good Mental Health Habits To Your Children
Your children are vulnerable not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. Since they are still undergoing significant developments, make sure to instill good mental health habits in them.
Children’s Mental Health
Your children’s formative years, which last until eight years of age, are crucial to their social, behavioral, cognitive, and physical growth.
Building good habits for their physical, social, and mental health will affect them later in life. As much as possible, help them avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms early on.
Children are very susceptible to trauma at a young age. According to recent surveys, 15 million of our children can be diagnosed with a mental health illness, while only 7% of them receive proper care.
So, do your best to provide your children with a childhood worth remembering. Steer them toward positive and healthy habits. Make sure to surround them with loving friends and family. As parents, you must show them appreciation by praising their commendable actions. And if they fail or disappoint, you have to give them constructive criticisms.
Good Mental Health Habits
Giving your child quality care and unconditional love can go a long way in ensuring their development. To do so, here are some healthy practices you can integrate into your daily activities.
- Staying Physically Healthy
Physical fitness helps your child achieve the necessary developmental milestones for their age. Besides, physical health and activity can also affect their mental health. Recent studies have linked a low diet with poor mental health in children and adolescents.
Prepare your child nutritious and balanced meals and encourage them to eat by being a role model. Eat your fibrous carbohydrates, lean proteins, leafy greens, and low-fat dairy products.
Caring for your physical health also means drinking enough water and getting enough sleep. Proper sleep not only aids in your child’s brain development but also improves mood and reduces stress.
- Expressing Thoughts And Emotions
You always have to remember; your children are children. They can be immature and unreasonable because given their age and naiveness.
Your children are yet to develop a solid foundation for healthy coping mechanisms. So, harshly scolding them may only lead them to think that cruelty is the only way to seek accountability.
Try to understand their situation by talking to them. Let your children express their feelings not only when they’re happy, but also when they’re sad, upset, or angry.
If they’re crying or throwing a tantrum, give your children enough space and time to react and reflect. Don’t aggravate the situation by yelling with them.
Instead, approach your children when they’ve calmed down so you can communicate with them effectively. Ask them what’s bothering them and let them know you’re willing to work with them towards an agreeable solution.
- Participating In Healthy Social Group
Children also need to develop their social skills. Make sure they are in a caring environment to encourage them to think and act healthily. Give them enough time to bond with their friends as long as they know their limits.
Your children will learn to create and bring out their personality when immersed in a group. Playing games is also helpful in developing social skills such as empathy, communication, and sportsmanship.
- Sharing Quality Time
Your children may enjoy their time with their friends, but they also need to spend time with you. Spending quality time with your children will strengthen your relationship. If they feel safe and understood in your presence, they’ll be more open to you.
Spending time with your children can also be a huge stress reliever for you. Enjoy your moment with them to let them know they are a priority. Your behavior towards them matters because you are your children’s first role model. Make it count!
Your child needs to learn how to appreciate themselves. Help them realize they are more significant than their failures and achievements. Celebrate their successes, but remind them how you’re praising their efforts, too—and not just their school medals.
Building your child’s self-confidence early on will help them realize their worth more easily. Once they know they matter, they can better maintain healthy habits. Their thoughts and actions will also be affected, and soon they’ll have learned how to make better choices by themselves.
Aside from these, having good self-esteem will help your children discover who they are. If they’re used to healthy practices, you can be sure they’ll also have a personality rooted in love and kindness.
Looking Out for Symptoms
However, you have to remember how these healthy practices are only precautionary measures and not absolute treatment options. If you notice severe symptoms interfering with your child’s daily activities, seek professional help.
The earlier the diagnosis, the easier the treatment. Attention-deficit or hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and also generalized anxiety disorder are some of the common issues associated with young children.
A therapist or psychologist can treat and help manage these disorders.
Benefits Of Having Healthy Habits
Teaching these good mental health habits is not enough if not done consistently. Practice these habits and check-up on yourself and your children from time to time. Through repetition of these practices, you will start doing these naturally.
Once you’ve ingrained these habits in your life, your thoughts and actions become healthier. Your children will learn how to handle their emotions better, therefore living healthily without being forced.
All these habits are there to give your child the right environment and memorable experiences. With an enjoyable childhood and proper supervision from professionals, your children’s development will move towards healthy and holistic well-being.