Mental health is an important aspect of living a healthy life. Though your child may seem too young to struggle with mental health, it is never too early to foster positive thinking. Teaching positive mental health can grow your child’s resilience, and help them adapt as adults to negative situations.
You’ve probably heard that being a parent is the toughest job in the world. It’s true. Caregivers of children take on so much responsibility. Ensuring your child stays healthy requires making sure they visit the doctor as needed, providing a healthy diet, ensuring they get enough sleep, clothing them, and keeping a roof over their head. Beyond caring for their physical health, it’s also important to place focus on their emotional wellbeing. If you’d like some guidance in this particular area of child-rearing, read on for tips on how to foster positive mental health in your kids.
Prioritize Your Own Mental Health
One of the best ways to help your child stay emotionally well-balanced is to be sure to care for your own mental wellbeing. When you feel good emotionally, you’re able to provide them with the care and attention they need. The environment in your home is more likely to be healthy and comfortable. In addition, you’re modeling good habits for your offspring when they’re able to see you taking good care of your mental health needs.
Promoting mental health in children starts with establishing trust in your relationship. Maintaining consistency in your home and showing that you are there to care for their needs will help them learn that they can depend on you. When they feel safe and secure, children are more likely to experience positive mental health outcomes. Trust in caregivers creates a foundation that allows children to move through the world with more confidence and less anxiety.
Read Next | Encouraging Self Care in Your Kids
Teach Coping Strategies
Stress, sadness, and frustration are inevitable parts of life. Teaching your children strategies to cope with these tough emotions helps them to become emotionally healthy individuals. Talk to them when you see they are experiencing difficulty managing their feelings. Provide them with proactive and healthy responses, then practice role-playing for the next time they encounter a similar situation. They’ll feel confident and ready to handle difficult circumstances the more they practice coping strategies with you. When things don’t go well, be sure to process the experience with them. Talk to them about their feelings, and ask them how they might have handled things differently. Let them know they are good and worthy individuals, despite having a tough time, and that next time will be better.
Encouraging confidence and self-esteem in kids can go a long way toward supporting their mental health. Children can gain confidence through praise and external reinforcement from you, but they also need to develop self-esteem from within themselves. You can encourage both types through different approaches. Encourage their confidence by providing plenty of praise. Notice when they do something good. Cheer for them when they try something new. You can even order custom awards online so that they have a tangible reminder of a job well done.
Be sure to be realistic in your praise. Over-inflating a child’s ego is counterproductive to producing a healthy self-image. You can encourage children to gain their own sense of confidence by providing them with plenty of opportunities to establish independence. Your child will feel proud when they are able to accomplish a task on their own. They’ll gain mastery of a new skill, which will then give them the confidence to continue trying additional tasks as they arise. It’s also helpful to assist your kids in dealing with negative self-talk. If you hear them talking badly about themselves, take time to address the situation. Ask them if that statement is entirely true. Then, help them to re-frame it into something that is more realistic. They’ll soon learn to manage this re-framing on their own.
Consider Professional Help
If you do notice that your child is struggling with mental health issues, seeking professional assistance is wise. There’s no shame in receiving support from a counselor or therapist. Perhaps a guidance counselor at school may be all that is needed. Counseling with a trained psychotherapist may be a better route for persistent issues. Letting your kids know there is no shame in getting help will establish a lifetime of positive mental health practices.
Keep these tips in mind in order to promote positive mental health in your kids. Encouraging healthy practices is beneficial for everyone.
Victoria Smith is a freelance writer who specialized in business and finance, with a passion for cooking and wellness. She lives in Austin, TX where she is currently working towards her MBA. If you’re looking for a great way to celebrate your kids, order custom awards online from EDCO for all their accomplishments.
Like what you read? JOIN the Mommybites community to get the latest on FREE online classes, parenting advice, events, childcare listings, casting calls & raffles, and our Parents With Nannies Facebook group. SIGN UP NOW!