Importance of Good Mental Health Among Children. 5 Ways to Show That You Care
Being a child today is far more difficult than in previous generations. Many children are forced to navigate an ever-increasing and demanding educational system. This, combined with the 24-hour news cycle and the need to stay connected on social media, can contribute to feelings of anxiety and unhappiness.
Teachers and school administrators have witnessed the consequences of systems disregarding a child’s mental health needs. These systems are being challenged to change to improve the well-being of all students.
Some people may dismiss the significance of understanding this subject. These people may believe, “I got through it, so everyone else should be able to.”
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10-20% of children and adolescents suffer from mental disorders.
Parents, teachers, and other caregivers can seek professional advice. Child welfare workers, school psychologists, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists are among those who fall into this category.
Aside from asking for help, there are some things you can do to encourage children, keep their spirits up, and promote good mental health.
They must express their emotions.
One of the most important things you can teach your children is to recognize and express their emotions in words. Help your children grow by teaching them the different words for emotions and using examples of those emotions in themselves and others.
If we understand and listen to our feelings, they are like important road signs. They can show us where to go and what to look for next. Many children shut down when upset because they believe all emotions other than happiness are negative and shameful. When you teach your children the language of various emotions and invite them to explore and share them, difficult feelings become normal and healthy.
Please pay attention to them
Before offering advice or becoming angry, take a moment to listen to your child. This makes your child more trusting of you and more open to the advice you decide to give. When children are upset, understand their point of view and validate their feelings, whether you agree or not.
Children and adults can accept a different perspective on a situation once their emotions have been accepted and understood. Hearing the child’s perspective can help reduce their defensive reaction. This does not mean that there are no consequences for breaking the rules, but it does mean that they can express what happened or what their thought process was to grow.
Watch for changes
It is normal for children to experience behavioral changes as they progress through various developmental stages. However, suppose your child has become more withdrawn or isolated from their friends, family, or routine. In that case, this could signify that they are dealing with a situation or feeling unable to process it independently.
Check-in with your child and let them know you’re there for them in any way they require.
If your child has learned to avoid feelings, creativity can help them open up to them. According to research, creativity promotes children’s overall development.
All children require assistance in learning about their emotions and relationships. It is our responsibility as adults to teach them these abilities. Because each child is unique, we must determine what reaches each child individually. Consider what they truly enjoy doing to assist them in expressing themselves.
Play, games, sports, art, writing, dance, horticulture, photography, music, and acting or role-playing situations are all excellent ways for children to learn to cope with difficult emotions and relationships. Creativity is a natural way for humans to learn and express themselves.
One of the most important things you can give a child is an environment in which they know they are loved and valued. They know they are supported regardless of what they do, which increases their sense of security and safety at home.
Children enjoy receiving positive feedback and learning that they have done something well. Knowing they did something well increases feelings of pride and confidence, which can last a long time. Furthermore, providing positive reinforcement for behaviors encourages children to repeat those behaviors.