How To Help Your Children Have Better Mental Health
Often, parents tend to get so engrossed in their child’s academics and achievements that they fail to teach their children about the importance of mental health. Things have changed radically since the ways of the previous generations. In this age of social media, when everything depends on validation by our virtual friends, the new generation is in a terribly vulnerable position. They are at a greater risk of getting mental health issues, but there are ways that might help you avert the risk. Often, we know the right things that we should be doing around our kids, but we find it immensely challenging to implement it. Though parents want their children to ace in every field, they forget to consider the emotional health of their children. An important thing to remember is that a higher emotional quotient is often associated with higher intelligence quotient. Here are a few common issues and how you can handle them around your children:
When children reach their adolescent years, it becomes very difficult to handle them. The raging hormones that bring about huge changes in their minds and bodies are primarily responsible for this. But of course, they don’t realize it, and you have to deal with their shifting moods. As a parent, you already know what they are going through, so it is your responsibility to handle them with a lot of care. This is the time when they get more influenced by their friends and consider their parents as someone who does not understand them. Parents should watch out for signs of clinical depression like isolation, lack of interest in everything, lack of sleep and appetite, and more. These signs might also be visible if the child is addicted. What parents can do is watch out for their kids and be their friends, so that they can be comfortable enough to tell them what’s going on in their lives. Parents should also be less interfering as this will make the kids happy as they love their independence during this time.
This might come as a shock, but it is true that even children can be under stress. Academic institutions work in such a way that parents keep having undue expectations for their wards. These expectations burden them down, and eventually, the child suffers from stress. Lack of attention, neglect, and abuse during childhood can also cause stress. When both parents are working, the child often finds it difficult to handle the fact that they don’t have anyone to confide in. Hence, what parents can do is, while facing a challenging situation, they can think of possible solutions and keep them ready in case they need it. However, research has also found that challenging situations helped children develop their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Well, that doesn’t sound so bad, right?
Communicating Difficult Things
If you want your kids to communicate freely with you, you will need to build their trust over time. Only when the child notices that you are always there for you no matter what will they come to you and tell you about the problems they are facing. At least 15 to 30 minutes every day is recommended for parents — this is the time you should just be their friend and play with them. Don’t try to preach them about something or scold them during this time. For younger kids, board games and drawing or coloring works. For older ones, walks and outdoor activities are good. You can also share stories from your childhood during this time. Teaching them about puberty, how the body changes, and the importance of using protection during intercourse is crucial. But you definitely have to keep the atmosphere light and casual instead of tense and intimidating.
Bringing Up A Strong Individual
If you want your child to be strong when they grow up, the first lesson is to teach them about failures. Encouraging good mental health for your children means acknowledging their triumphs and helping them accept their failures in a non-toxic way. It is also important to teach them about kindness, empathy, compassion, and gratitude. Make them understand that in order to grow, they need to have a flexible mindset and can’t have fixed ideas.
Be an example, and show them how you handle stress or depression. Kids learn a lot by watching rather than listening. So be your own kid’s role model and help them grow into a better person.
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