Talking about mental health in children seems pretty weird. Good mental health should be a natural thing in children. Childhood is the time when kids should enjoy to their fullest and be relaxed from any kind of stress or pressure. But the current scenario is completely opposite and children are going through a lot, right from a tender age. Being a parent it is your responsibility to help your kid enjoy a stress-free life.
There are many ways you can let the good mental health of your kid be at place.
Be a natural example of positive thinking in any situation. Your children are not listening to you,they are watching you. Let them see how any situation in life can be handled easily if we think with a cool mind rather than getting hyper about it.
- Enough sleep: Sadly, in today's tough, competitive life children aren't getting sufficient sleep, and just as we all know, sleep is a major contributing factor to one's health, be it physical or mental. So, it is crucial for children to get at least 10-12 hrs of sleep and teenagers to get minimum of 8-9 hrs of sleep. Sufficient sleep is also one of the best medicine for a good immune system and quick recovery from any illness.
- Weekend routine: It is important to switch off, relax and get away from stresses of everyday life. Every household has a daily weekday routine of timely wake-up, meals, study etc. But it is also necessary to have a weekend routine where they get a chance to express themselves, get free time to spend with family and peers to enjoy. Allow them to go without a fixed set of rules on these days and unwind completely.
- Talk during their sleep time: Children often can't tell you what is bothering them or what they are thinking. You need to talk to them and ask them about their troubles and help out just like a friend. Affection, Praise and Encouragement are much required for a child to do well. During sleeptime you can have a throw back at the entire day by listening to them and thereby solving little problems which they have on their minds.This will in turn help them overcome a lot of mental blockages that stop them from going ahead after a failure.
- Physical fitness: Both adults and kids need to exercise and stay fit. Children need minimum 1 hour of daily exercise to stay fit and healthy followed, they have a proper diet. We need to exercise as it helps to stimulate the chemicals in our body that improve mood and release the stress built up over the day. Keep changing the physical activities for them so that they understand their likes and dislikes. This will help them find that one sport or activity which they would like to continue in the long run. Try any of these:
- listening to peaceful music
- muscle relaxation exercises
- deep breathing exercises
- Healthy eating habits: A healthy eating habit is a basic requirement. Kids these days have started choosing more of junk food and therefore obesity and such other chronic illnesses are common. These further lead to low self esteem or depression among young children.
- Do some brain exercises: Indulge them in puzzles, brain bogglers or enrol them for abacus training. When u challenge them with such activities all they get is a boost to their mental health, memory and self confidence.
There are so many things that can be done each day to make a child happy and mentally healthy. Encourage them to be more social,take them to different places and help them make more friends. Support them in their interests and let them spend time in their favourite activities. It’s a journey and a series of interventions with a child at different stages will give him/her a very good mental and emotional growth.