5 Best Practices to Ensure Your Child’s Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing
Did you know that UNICEF warned the world about children’s mental health recently? A report released by the global body says the mental health of one in seven children, which accounts for 332 million children of the world, is at risk. The intermittent nationwide stay-at-home orders around the world are to blame for this.
Whether you are a parent or a caretaker, it is natural to be worried about your child’s mental health and emotional wellbeing in these times. Here are five practices that will surely help!
- Be approachable
The key ingredient in being approachable to children is trust. Build on the trust they have in you to make them feel safe to openly communicate with you. Try to be available whenever your child needs you. Be a good listener. Let your child know they can talk to you about anything under the sun. Meeting their physical and emotional needs promptly contributes to their trust in you. Children see an easily approachable parent as a source of comfort and a confidant.
2. Bring consistency in their routine
Children love consistency. They like to know what they will be doing next and what its consequences are. They want to know which activity will get them a reward or land them in trouble. It is a reassurance of safety for kids. Give them a stable routine they look forward to. Changes like parents’ divorce or moving to a new city could make them irritable. Give them time to adjust and give them interesting things to look forward to in new situations.
3. Contribute to a positive self-esteem
How children feel about themselves affects their mental health a great deal. Be realistic when praising them. Calling them the smartest or prettiest may go against the goal you want to achieve. Praise them on things they can improve on — handwriting, good manners and a sharing habit are good to start with. Create opportunities for them to explore things on their own. Such independence leads to the formation of better self-esteem in children.
4. Identify behavioural issues
Not all children are the same. Some may exhibit a more positive approach to situations around them than others. It is problematic when pessimism is persistent and seems to be popping up at the drop of a hat. Behaviour like bad mood prolonged over a week, difficulty in focussing on a task or extreme restlessness should be a concern. Don’t panic at the thought of a behaviour problem. Be assured that most of these issues are treatable.
5. Don’t shy away from professional help
Most children with mental health issues never get professional help because of the societal stigma associated with it. Don’t hesitate to take your child to a psychologist if he/she is struggling with mental issues. Most of them are easily treatable and easy on the pockets. Go for family counselling sessions if required and create a healthy environment for your child to grow in.
The mental health and emotional wellbeing of children are as important as their physical health. As parents, we must provide them with a positive external environment and teach them to have a positive outlook towards life. These simple day-to-day practices will help you take good care of your child’s mental health.