How To Nurture A Child’s Mental Health

You can teach your child to fulfil his/her physical needs – eat when hungry, get a blanket when cold, go to bed when one feels tired and sleepy etc. As a parent, you can identify such needs and help your child out. But when it comes to mental health, it’s not the same. A child’s mental and emotional needs won’t be as obvious as their physical needs. But just like physical health, you can help your child improve his/her emotional well-being, which gives him/her power to be emotionally resilient when problems come his/her way.

Families play an important role when it comes to bettering a child’s mental health. Emotionally stable and mentally strong kids are capable of thinking more clearly, developing better socially and are able to learn new skills much more efficiently.  Watching children grow and helping them develop these skills is one of the joys of parenthood. Laying down a groundwork for children to build an emotionally healthy adulthood is one of the most eminent parenting tasks. And here are the ways in which you can make your child emotionally flexible and make him/her face his/her problems with aplomb.

1) Unconditional Love:

Love your children unconditionally! Provide them with physical reassurances. If you find your child mentally disturbed, give him/her a hug! A hug can work wonders on a child; it’s easiest form of expressing love to your child. Say the words, “everything is going to be okay!” to your child and assure him/her that he/she is safe and that he/she must stay positive no matter what. Children look forward to their parents for assurance and such gestures will only help them get their confidence back!

2) Listen:

Sometimes, problems can be solved just by listening to your children. When you speak with your kids, use words, expressions and examples which they can understand easily. Encourage your children to open up to you; encourage them to ask questions and you, in turn, must provide them with comfort and assurance. Focus on the positives and show your willingness to talk about any subject. Offer them advice only after listening to them completely. Respect their feelings!

3) Build Strong Relationships:

The amount of time spent around family and friends does have a huge effect on your child’s mind. Time spent around the dinner table, saying story before bedtime, special playtime with mom and dad, etc. are some activities which encourage positive reinforcements in children. All the time spent with kids can be utilised to teach them how to face and solve problems. Children look forward to their parents for help and mimic their actions, so be the role model they’re looking for!

4) Encouragement:

Praise your children when they do well. Keep your expectations realistic with your children and accept their limitations. Set goals based on your toddler’s abilities and interests – not on basis of someone else’s expectations. And celebrate their accomplishments! Never compare your children to other children – because every child is unique in his/her own way! Encourage your child to stay positive all the time!

Swati Bhatt

 

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