Childhood is delicate in terms of development for children. Every experience, every conversation, and every action has a significant impact on a child’s development as an adult. Along with good education and physical health, a child’s mental development is equally important to produce a socially responsible and functioning adult.
What does mental well-being in children mean? It refers to a child’s self-image and feelings about their surroundings. A child needs to be surrounded by positivity to develop their cognitive function and groom them to be responsible adults.
Our actions as adults around children significantly affect their learning and their perception of things, which makes it essential to adopt healthy practices. Here are a few tips that can go a long way in improving your child’s mental well-being.
Establish a Healthy Relationship
Sharing a positive bond with a child, especially as a parent, is essential. It’s important to understand what makes any bond healthy and positive to establish such a relationship. It is one where all lines of communication are open, and a child feels safe sharing their life with you. It is one where you actively listen to what your child has to say and give them your complete attention. It’s also good to be involved in your child’s activities to share a connection with them. Another important aspect of this relationship is not to react harshly to your child’s mistakes; instead, dealing with your child patiently and firmly means that you are helping them trust you more and creating a safe space for them to thrive. Though seemingly small, all these practices significantly impact human development. It nurtures a child and enables them to articulate their feelings and compose themselves well as a part of society.
Encourage Emotional Expression
The best policy for emotional growth is to encourage emotional expression. It’s important to validate a child’s emotions and patiently deal with them. Children at this tender age have many tantrums, which can naturally frustrate any parent and adopt strict actions to suppress their emotional outbursts. Of course, it’s easier said than done, but adopting an attitude of patience and understanding to your child’s outbursts will make them feel comfortable in your presence and clear the line of communication. In this safe space, they will feel comfortable sharing their problems. It’ll also encourage better emotional development as adults, which means that they’ll be able to manage their stress and worries better later in life.
Keep Them on A Consistent Routine
Children thrive in predictable environments, and as a parent, it’s essential to structure your routine around them. First, set a healthy, well-rounded routine for the kids, which means ample time for reading, studies, walks/exercise out in nature, and meal times. Then, once the routine is set, be consistent with it. Children love predictability in their lives with set rewards for good behavior or knowing the time for their next activity.
Any irregularity in their lives, i.e., separation, moving to other cities, etc., can significantly impact them. Most children take sudden changes in their lives critically and start acting out. Maintaining discipline in a routine manages their emotions when they know what to expect.
Work on Their Self-esteem
Children are vulnerable creatures; every word carries a lot of magnitude for them, especially if you are their parents. They look up to you and seek your approval. As adults, we are responsible for making them feel good about themselves. Many will come into their lives to taunt them and make them conscious about their bodies or mental well-being. It’s important to make them feel comfortable in their skin and encourage them to positively view themselves, physically and mentally.
This certainly does not mean you go overboard and encourage false positivity. Making them believe untrue or unrealistic things about themselves can damage their self-esteem once they face hurdles as adults. What you need to do is appreciate and recognize their effort, be it in academics or sports. As parents, give them room to work independently. That way, they will feel confident taking challenges head-on and working intuitively on new things.
Encourage good social behavior
Social exposure is vital for grooming children into social and responsible adults. As a parent, take them out to encourage them to socialize with other children. This will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of their personalities. These observations encourage good behavior, and the rough edges can be sanded to mold a socially responsible and well-behaved individual.
Focus on Their Physical Health
In a child’s daily routine, it’s important to include activities encouraging good physical health. Good physical health translates to good mental health and self-esteem. When setting a routine for your child, include outdoor activities in some shape or form. Those activities could be taking them out to the park, encouraging them to participate in some sports, or just taking them for a stroll in the evening. It’s an excellent time to relax and spend quality time with your child/children.
Furthermore, it’s important to include a balanced diet for their growth with healthy activities. It’s good practice to consult a dietician to understand their nutritional requirements. However, watch over their diet and ensure they’re not getting an excess of any nutrient, especially sugar.
In the end, ample sleep is essential. At least 8 hours of sleep is necessary for a growing child. Ensure your child gets enough sleep, encouraging healthy physical and mental growth.
Taking care of your child is a tough job and, if done right, can be an outstanding achievement for you as parents. To encourage healthy development, establish an open relationship with your child. A healthy, loving relationship can be developed by keeping all lines of communication and trust open. You can encourage your child to express their emotions and talk to them about their self-esteem. Be the reason that they regard and respect themselves. Encourage healthy habits like reading, sports, or any form of physical activity to give them that balance in life. With these small things, your child can grow up with good mental health and lead a fruitful life.