We all make the mistake of underestimating our child’s worries and tantrums by pushing them away as one of their childish behaviors. Like how our anxieties, worries, and fears are significant, children also have their share of bad days. Mental health is as important as physical health. The definition of being healthy is physical, mental, and social well-being, so ignoring mental health in children is an unhealthy practice to take up.
Genetics do play an essential part in an individual’s mental health, but upbringing and social conditioning are other significant factors that can cause mental health disorders. As a parent, you play an important role in your child’s mental health. You can promote good mental health through simple practices at home, like paying attention to the things you say and do and creating a preferable environment.
Here are five simple ways to inculcate good mental health practices at home-
Value your child’s thoughts and feelings-
Acknowledging and accepting your child’s emotions can go a long way in their upbringing. Understanding that they can have their reasons behind their feelings is important because, in that way, children will start feeling seen for what they are going through. It is also a reassurance for them to know that their struggles are being heard. This practice will help them open up easier and be comfortable having open conversations with people around them.
Normalize highs and lows-
We tend to look at unhappy emotions as unnecessary emotions. But just like happiness, sadness is also equally valid. When you teach your child that it is okay to feel disappointed, the child will start looking at negative emotions as something they can tackle and something that will pass. Being able to tackle ups and downs is crucial because, that way, they are unlikely to be overshadowed by downs.
Take care of your mental health first-
Children often mimic what they see around them. So it is crucial to pay attention to your own health so that when your child is mimicking you, it is all well. Make sure you set positive examples on how to deal with stressful situations. When something goes unfavorable, say words like- “well, it didn’t work this time, but that is okay, I can always try again.” When kids listen to such an approach to crisis management, they begin to understand that there is always another chance if something doesn’t work out well.
Nurture trust between you and your child-
The relationship between the parent and the child plays a vital role in building their mental health. A good relationship starts by building trust. Creating a sense of safety and security is one way to establish trust in children. Just like how you take care of them when they are hungry, thirsty, and cold, it is important to address their feelings of anxiety, fear, and sadness too. And most importantly, do what you say and say what you mean. Children need honest and consistent care. Find ways to express that you love them and that they can trust you to keep them safe and healthy.
Value good sleep and healthy food habits-
Children need to understand that the food they eat and the sleep they get have a direct influence on their well-being. Condition them to healthy doses of sleep and food habits so that they can carry out their typical day-to-day functional activities. With the educational bilingual toy- ROYBI, they will never be behind in understanding the importance of healthy practices. This practice can be a healthy way to learn to value sleep and a good diet as they grow up.