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MJMCM, RN, MANc  

Ways to nurture a child’s mental well-being

Are you making ways to nurture your child’s well-being? This post will help you recognize what are the important things that a child needs to be mentally healthy.

Most of us parents understand the benefits of healthy eating habits that we should teach or be able to implement in our children. Staying physically fit like teaching them of attaining physical health is a common thing that most of us are aware of. Like helping them to play their favorite sports, biking with them outside, allowing them to play on the playground, etc. But there’s a topic that we must deal with because it’s just as important as being physically healthy.

Child's mental well-being
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There are already high rates of mental health issues among children and it’s a bit serious! But to know that more and more parents are already becoming aware of the importance of nurturing and supporting their child’s mental health is a good factor to lessen the chances of children suffering from mental issues.

Good mental health is something we have to look into as parents.

Mental health affects an individual’s way of thinking, feeling, and behaving and it can greatly influence daily activities such as academic performance and overall health. The most common mental problems that attack children are related to anxiety, ADHD, behavioral disorders, and depression.

We are not perfect parents and accepting this could mean we are aware of our flaws and we are aware that there is still room for improvement. The best thing is that we are trying to be better parents day by day.

Here are the ways to nurture our children’s mental well-being:

  • Show love and trust! The child follows their parents especially if they feel loved, protected, and understood. As parents, we are also careful with protecting our children from any failures or pains, but those are also helpful in learning to face life uncertainties. Allow the child to explore given that the child is safe, consider supporting them, and encourage them to stand up instead of fixing things for them easily. A good relationship between parents can protect children from mental health disorders. This can also give children a sense of security when they see that their parents have good companionship with one another.
  • Be honest and patient. To nurture mental health, we should be attentive to the child’s verbal and nonverbal cues as well. Do they need support and attention? Do they need to be understood? Children can sense if parents are interested in what they are saying. This is the reason why we should be able to be patient in listening to their queries or opinions and be able to give honest feedback.
  • Listen to them before giving your advice, comment, or suggestions. Encouraging them to do their kinds of stuff, creating a happy environment, and having healthy habits daily can make a big change in their mental health. Like acknowledging their efforts, sharing your feelings about a certain behavior, correcting unhealthy and unhelpful thinking, showing empathy, and building resiliency.
  • Validate their feelings and share yours. As parents, we can easily sense if our children or child is experiencing a bad mood! We can ask them what happened and allow them to vent their feelings. After listening, we should be able to have clarity with what they are going through and slowly share our opinion or some related stories to lift their mood.
  • Show healthy behaviors like promoting healthy eating habits, and having adequate rest and sleep as these can greatly help in maintaining a healthy mind and improved mood.
  • Connect them to positive thinkers. Allow them to have social interactions, especially with people who have a positive outlook on life. Their ideas and good attitudes can help in building your child mentally.
  • Set a family time. Days are passing too fast! And that means we’re not going any younger so as with our children. That’s why spending time with them is worthful to fill in memories that you as a family can look back on as time goes by. These bonding moments can build your children’s mental wellness because you are filling in space in them that they will never forget. And that’s -TIME-
  • Teach them about forgiveness. Forgiving someone who made a mistake to you can relieve stress and heartaches that bring negativities to your mind. That’s why teaching our children the importance of forgiveness is essential.
  • Be present, especially for important events. Involvement with our children’s life activities can greatly impact their academic performance. It raises their self-confidence and brings positivity to them. Your support as a parent is very important as they are going through their growth and mental development.
  • Be calm in responding when their emotions are elevated. Sometimes children suddenly change their mood and prefer not to go out or play with their friends. Don’t worry as they are finding ways to manage their feelings, how to solve problems, develop self-control and independence, and manage time.
  • View their behavior and personalities as a window to their feelings and needs. One example is when a child showed temper tantrums in the middle of a busy grocery store. The initial reaction of some parents would be to ask their child to stand up or stop doing the action because it’s uncomfortable in adults’ eyes. If this is the scenario we should show empathy instead of asking the child too many questions and telling the child to stop because it’s embarrassing. Be considerate of their feelings and see whether there are factors that contributed to their tantrums like maybe they are hungry, tired, or sleepy!
  • Recognize their positive choices. Parents must show good modeling and continuously instill healthy habits and behaviors so kids can face the challenges that come their way. To do this we have to build a close relationship with them, provide boundaries and structures whenever possible, encourage independence, and boost social interaction.
  • Set limits and respect each other’s boundaries. You and your child have different personalities, you have different perspectives on how to view things. And it’s imperative to show respect at all times to them so that they will also show it to you in return. But, always remember to set boundaries so that they won’t fall into the negative side.
  • Practice gratitude and teach them how to pray. Mental wellness comes with having gratitude for all things that we have in life.

Take every day as a happy journey with your children. Avoid too much pressure because children who are under constant pressure also experience constant anxiety. The countless stress that they feel places them at higher risk of depression, mood or behavioral problems, and other mental health conditions. The list above can greatly help parents to nurture their child’s mental well-being to raise a happy, stress-free childhood for them.

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