Parents often forget that mental health and well-being are as important as physical health and well-being. Focusing on and nurturing early mental health is like creating a safe haven for your child in the future. Don’t neglect your child’s mental health, as it could have some serious effect on their self-esteem and confidence.
Below are 5 important parenting tips to help boost your child’s mental health:
Pay attention to what your children have to say
Parents tend to ignore often or pay little attention to what their children have to say as they feel it is not necessary. Children tend to communicate and express their feelings verbally to their parents early on, and if they notice your neglect, they might start suppressing it. Without proper communication channels, children may want to hide relevant information from their parents, which may prove to be problematic in the future. Moreover, if your child is not expressive or communicative, it is better that you notice this early on so that you can help them open up. By establishing straightforward channels of communication, you’re letting your kids know that you’re interested in sharing their thoughts, ambitions, and dreams.
Appreciate and acknowledge your child
While you scold your child for every mistake that he makes, it is also important that you acknowledge and appreciate them when they do the right things. Verbal affirmation in the form of praises and compliments boosts your child’s self-esteem and confidence and also lets them know that they are on the right path. Rewards, praises and compliments in moderation go a long way in encouraging good behaviour and keeping bad behaviour at bay.
Spend quality time with your children
Spending quality time with your children is one of the most effective ways to build healthy and lasting bonds with them. Give your time and attention instead of gifts. Attend their dance performance, take them out for a movie, spending time with your child makes them feel safe and loved. It is equally important for both parents to contribute time to their children. This could be playing together or just talking about each other’s day.
Talk about stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety have become common and affect everyone in this fast-paced world. Although you cannot change the outside world, you cannot prevent your child from experiencing stressful and anxiety-inducing situations. What you can do is teach your child how to cope with anxiety or how to tackle stress. Accepting stress as a part of our life and balancing it with healthy thoughts and coping mechanisms is something that you should be able to teach your children. For example, your child is bound to face some failures in his academic journey or bound to have some disagreements with his friends. In such situations, they need to develop coping mechanisms and skills to overcome such challenges. These skills are important to build mental health and making sure that such situations do not affect their daily schedule and functioning. Teach your child the art of journaling, meditating, and venting, and encourage them to talk to their friends and family members to handle their stress and anxiety with a positive outlook.
Be a good role model.
Parents are their child’s earliest role models. Parents are the first people to introduce the world to children, and your children will be looking up to you and following your example. Don’t just tell your child what to do but also practice. Young kids learn by imitation, and whatever you do, your child is going to try to imitate your ways. Your child observes you carefully, so make sure that you do not use foul language around them. Be the person you want your child to be, and respect your kid. Introduce them to healthy and positive behaviour patterns and attitudes while having empathy towards your child. When a child has their parents as positive role model, they are most likely to be part of constructive actions. Model good behaviour and manners for your child to follow. Know that your kid is watching you and is going to pick up on your behaviour and attitude.
To conclude, each child is different, and you will need to experiment with parenting strategies to know what suits your kid the best. Visit Raising Superstars and check out their developmental programmes for your little one.