“How to improve children’s mental health?” – Children are assumed to be dependent on their parents or guardian. but lest we forget, children are a lot more flexible than society assumes for them to be. As parents, it would be best to be mindful about their children’s mental health and showing children how to be prosocial by example.
Taking care of our emotional well-being between a busy or hectic schedule usually takes a back seat and falls short or last in one’s priority list. This applies to children as well. Growing up, children are exposed to trials, peer pressure that brings about worry, restlessness, thus exposing the child to a fit or a state of uncertainty and unhappiness. Sometimes, parents often find this out at a later date, or when something undesirable happens.
Self-care is not exactly a well-defined concept. Most of the children would understand what “self” and “care” means. How to care for one’s self is a very important practice that most adults must emit. So that the children around them can appreciate what this means. Both, a parent and a child can do a variety of activities together. This has a significant benefit for the mind and body.
Coping skills, a mindset that promotes resilience as a child develops. These can be gained through a healthy routine. A healthy parent can help prevent mental health conditions, especially when both a parent and children together practice stability of the mind, body and the mind. Therapeutic routine for both a parent and a child can extend some undermined benefits that most would assume to be a waste of time by most, but it would be unfair to not try it for some reasonable amount of time. So where can one begin?
Schedule a Unified Family Routine
As odd as it may sound, children do appreciate a structured family routine, one that they too had a say in. A successful family routine may contribute to well-being for the entire household if done and enjoyed by everyone. Children get a sense of stability when predictability is present, limiting anxiety. Starting with a timeline of events like determining a fixed time to wake up is a good start. Having meals, doing homework, being allowed to play on a gadget or the computer, complying with chores at a given time, these create structure, normality and predictability in an otherwise unpredictable world. This, in turn, can improve children’s mental health
Sleep is Essential for Mental Health
Crucial to learning, performance, optimum mental health, sleep is extremely important for children’s mental health. Sleeping longer allows for more deep sleep to occur also known as REM sleep. Thus making it a lot more beneficial for young adults. A 7 PM to 8 PM bedtime for young children can allow for a higher level of concentration the next day. A huge contributor to mental health issues is sleep deprivation. Amidst assumption, even a teenager, as old and as entitled as they think they are, benefit from the predictable and lengthy amount of sleep.
Get Healthy Together is Better
Integrate good self-care into a child’s day by serving healthy meals. Sure, a cookie, a bag of chips and candies can be given. But a simple strategy to get excited about healthy food is the biggest struggle for all parents. Therefore, it is better to allow a child to choose vegetables to consume. Having meals together is a lot better than having a child eat a meal that is different from everyone else. However, parents should not discount that some children just do not like certain vegetables. They may actually have some type of food allergies. The key is to listen to your child and acknowledge limitations to what the family can provide.
At the end of the day, listening to our child is the key to developing a close to perfect, or at the very least acceptable self-care routine. Taking care of children’s mental health starts at a very young age. At present, things may be a bit tough given that the recent pandemic has changed everyone’s way of living. Still, help is available. Online mental health support through telehealth psychiatry and telehealth psychology are available. Even young children require special help and assistance. When this happens, child psychology and paediatric supports are available. Parenting does not have to be a sole burden, it can be shared.