In today's world, kids are overburdened. From extra-curricular activities to studies, they have to deal with constant pressure. Moreover, they are forced to be the best in every field from an early age which affects their mental health eventually.
However, the only people who can put an end to this are—parents. They are the ones who are responsible for saving their child’s mental health and taking adequate measures to improve it. Unfortunately, helping them become well-rounded adults is challenging while managing chores and work. Many parents only focus on their children’s physical well-being.
They pay more attention to giving them healthy meals, taking them to a pediatrician for regular check-ups, and assisting them with their homework. Nevertheless, they ignore their child’s mental health, leading to adverse effects.
On the other hand, every parent must understand that a child's mental health is just as important as their physical health. It is particularly true when children deal with stress or anxiety as they grow older.
So, how can you ensure your child's improved mental health? You can help your children build positive mental health and resiliency by following these tips:
- Seek Professional Help
Consult a psychologist, as they can help children achieve their full potential. Mental health professionals, especially those holding a masters in educational psychology online know how to evaluate children psychologically. They can use other therapies to help children better cope with mental health conditions and related issues and improve their learning abilities if required.
These professionals have clinical skills and professional training to treat emotional, mental, behavioral, and social health conditions among children. They thoroughly understand children’s basic psychological needs and help them deal with developmental processes, behavioral adaptation, and social and emotional adjustment.
Since psychologists play a critical role in a child's learning and development, parents must seek professional assistance to improve their child's mental health and provide them with all the support they need.
- Talk Openly about Feelings
The most important thing to teach your children is to recognize and express their feelings in words. It will help them relate and better understand, making them expressive. Teach them to express themselves using examples and the correct words for each emotion.
One of the most effective ways to ensure children's mental health is to keep the communication channel open. Reassure your kids that they can always come to you and share their feelings regardless of the situation.
Similarly, when they share their issues, problems, and worries, make sure you listen to them, recognize their feeling, and give them value. Once you pay attention to your kids’ feelings and let them know you are there to listen and support them without judgment, it helps them come to you whenever they face a problem.
Moreover, it helps foster emotionally and socially intelligent kids. And it helps them have stronger friendships, better self-esteem, and problem-solving skills.
- Teach Stress Management
While you may be able to protect your kids from abuse, bullying, or trauma, you cannot prevent them from experiencing stress. It is a normal part of life, and teaching your kid to deal with it properly at an early age prepares them for future practicalities.
For instance, kids are bound to fight and have disagreements with classmates and friends. They are bound to fail homework assignments or perform poorly at one time or another. Therefore, teaching your kids the skills they need to deal with such stressful circumstances and helping them build mental strength is essential.
One way to do it is to spend more time with them, build trust and talk about what's troubling them. However, never force your child to speak up instantly. Follow their lead on how much they are willing to speak, as too much discussion may increase anxiety and stress.
Also, help them personalize their stress-releasing activities. For example, one kid may release stress by writing in a journal. Whereas the other may call a friend when upset. If they are too small to write or understand talking to a friend can help; indulge them in painting, coloring, or different games that could help release stress. Thus, identify particular things your kid can do to keep their anxiety and stress levels in check while dealing with tough times.
- Watch For Red Flags
Naturally, some kids are more pessimistic or self-conscious than others. While this may not be a problem at first, the issue arises when your kid’s everyday struggles turn into a valid reason for concern.
In other words, if your kid feels overly sad or anxious when performing routine activities like meeting new people, hanging out in social gatherings, or managing conflicts, there might be a problem. Similarly, a sudden change in behavior or mood, lasting for more than three weeks, could also be a sign of some mental stress.
Therefore, being a parent, you must be on the lookout for issues such as lack of focus, inability to sit still, and inability to concentrate on the task. When your child faces difficulty performing these tasks, it could be a significant red flag and a warrant to seek medical help immediately.
However, before worrying about everything, remember that only some problems are too severe or long-lasting. Often a little bit of stress may lead a child to display some concerning signs, but the issue usually subsides and need no immediate reaction.
- Appreciate and Encourage
Children are mostly reprimanded for their faults and bad behaviors but are rarely praised for their excellent behavior. Lack of appreciation or recognition of children's feelings, actions, and emotions is one of the biggest reasons children fall prey to mental issues.
The lack of positive feedback and encouragement makes them believe they are not good enough and can never be. It leads to lower self-esteem and more anger issues. Therefore, it is the responsibility of every parent to encourage their kids, appreciate their efforts and provide positive feedback.
Kids love when they are praised. They always want to know if they have done something right. When they are appreciated for doing something well, it increases their confidence. Also, positive reinforcement for good behaviors encourages children to repeat those actions.
So, always praise your children whenever they do a good deed, regardless of how small, and help them feel good about themselves.
The Final Words
Being a parent, you must be proactive about keeping your kids as mentally healthy as possible. Similarly, when you see an issue or witness something unusual about your kid’s behavior or activities, never hesitate to seek professional help. After all, early intervention is key to effectively treating your child’s mental problems.
With that, it is also important to remember that children go through changes when growing. It affects their mood and emotions. Thus, sometimes, it is normal to notice drastic differences in how your kid handles each stage.
However, you can always make the most of the parenting tips above. It will help boost your child’s mental well-being. It will enable them to concentrate in school and face different challenges in life while having higher confidence, better self-esteem, and improved health and immunity.