It is common knowledge that mental health concerns like depression and anxiety are often regarded as adult problems. However, many children can also be affected. Unfortunately, they are unable to talk about it most of the time and do not know how to deal with it. This means that the onus lies on the parents to make sure that the problems are noticed early enough and tackled head on. Here are top ways to always be at the top of your child’s mental health.
Make Communication Easy
A child will be less likely to slip into or remain under a mental health problem if they know that they can open up to you as a parent, about anything that might be bothering them. This is why you must not be dismissive when such information is shared by the child. By seeing you as someone they can always trust with their problems, your child can release any negative feelings they might have. Stay positive as you analyse the situation and try to help them come out of it.
Enhance their Self-Esteem
Self-confidence and self-esteem is vital for success in life. This is why it should be preached from an early stage. If you have a child that is never willing to try new things or one that generally seems to lack drive, they could have a mental problem that needs addressing. One great way to deal with this is to provide them with experiences that do not have any underlying fear of failing or judgement. Think about an excursion or a holiday adventure with lots of fun new activities to be taken on.
Use Your Role Model Position
Like it or not, your children will always look at you like a role model. They will take note of how you deal with situations and how you relate to other people especially when you are under mental strain. Put to practice some effective coping strategies and you can set good examples for your children.
As is the case with adults, your stand to gain some cognitive and mental health benefits by exercising. A child that is inactive may be unable to develop social skills required to fight off social phobias. Getting active means getting outside to play and socialise with others. The endorphins released could see them cultivating a healthy habit in the long run.
Reward Fighting Fears
If your child rarely leaves the couch but then listens to you and goes on a bike ride with their friends or taking part in a dance competition, you should show appreciation in the form of a reward. This doesn’t equate to using materialism to push them. A simple hug is different from buying the latest gadget. There is a thin line between rewarding them and bribing them to do something. You must take care to not cross this line.
If you have done your best to improve the child’s mental state without yielding any results, it may be time for you to bring in the professionals. Top signs to watch out for at this stage include a drop in school performance, nervous behaviour, withdrawal or aggression.