Just like in adults, your child’s mental health is essential. A child’s mental health affects how they view themselves and the world around them. It also plays a significant role in how children view challenges and stresses they may come across. This is why it is important to nurture good mental health in your children to build a positive outlook in every aspect of their lives. So, how can you strengthen your child’s mental health for the better?
1. Teach them the habit of talking about feelings
Feelings can be a very confusing topic for children as they are still trying to figure it out. Children tend to shut their “negative” feelings of sadness and anger because they assume these are bad and should not be expressed. By teaching them how to recognise what they are feeling and express their feelings in words, you help them develop emotionally and gain social skills. It also becomes an efficacious sign to help you understand what they feel to solve their problems accurately. If you are having a bit of trouble teaching your child about feelings, do not hesitate to contact counseling services to help you and your child communicate this essential component of their mental health development.
2. Pay close attention to their behaviour
Children tend to show they are dealing with a challenge through their actions rather than their words. When your child is acting out, it may be a sign that they need emotional or mental support to deal with a challenge. You can improve their mental health by focusing on improving their behaviours. For example, you can set family rules with your children to encourage the right actions. This way, it would be easy for you to identify if your child needs support as they would act contrary to the rules put in place. You can also help develop their problem-solving skills so that they can identify problems and find creative ways of dealing with them. Another way you can use behaviour to improve your child’s mental health is by encouraging them to do new things. When they can take age-appropriate risks, it is easier for them to address their challenges, giving them a sense of pride and accomplishment, which improves their mental health.
3. Practice empathy
Before getting upset, angry, or worried about what your children say or do, take a moment to be empathetic. To do this, you must take the time to listen to your children before offering advice or reacting. Try to understand why they behaved the way they did. This does not mean you should validate or justify their wrongdoing. Instead, you are simply putting yourself in the position of your little one and understanding why they reacted the way they did. Doing this helps your child confide in you and makes them more receptive to the advice you give them. Knowing that they have someone they can rely on and trust makes them feel better about the space around them and, in turn, boost their mental health.