Children’s mental health is as important as their physical and emotional wellbeing. Children aren’t always as happy-go-lucky as you may think. They have valid worries, fears, and insecurities that you may need to help them through.
Balanced diets, regular exercises, and helping out with their school work will surely improve your kid’s physical health, but what can you do about their mental health? Research shows that positive mental health improves children’s social and reasoning skills. So if you want your child to grow into a confident, active, young adult, here are eight ways to develop and improve children’s mental health.
Let Them Have Fun
You shouldn’t stop a child from having fun and playing with friends and toys. Playtime will develop your child’s creativity, self-control, learning abilities, and problem-solving skills. Actively fiddling with their toys and inventing games with their friends will also help children’s physical and mental health.
Children need playmates to learn how to get along with others. Playing games with their peers will give them a sense of belonging and help them discover their strengths and weaknesses. So while teaching them to stay focused at school, you should also allow time for children to play with their peers.
Merge Their Studies With Games
Speaking of school, you can creatively merge playtime and learning. One way to help a kid focus and learn is to entertain them. For instance, you can encourage kids to love arithmetic by introducing kids’ math games into their study routine. Children learn better when the teaching approach is engaging, and study games will make your child look forward to school.
Get to Know Your Child’s Teachers
Educators have an essential role in children’s mental health. Kids spend much time with teachers and tutors and look up to these people for support. When this help comes without encouragement, it can affect children’s mental health. Educators’ teaching styles should be supportive and conducive to each child’s growth.
If you are a parent, develop relationships with teachers and tutors to help them understand your child’s needs. If your child struggles to learn math, the teacher should be able to spot this and let you know. Then you can collaborate to create the ideal learning environment to boost your child’s confidence.
Criticize The Behavior, Not The Child
What you say to children impacts their emotional wellbeing. Kids don’t always know the right thing to do unless you guide them. When they make mistakes, use words like, “that was not the right thing to do” rather than “you are a bad boy” or “girl.” Constantly talking down to them will erode their self-esteem, making them think they aren’t good enough, and sometimes, even building resentment. Instead, correct your child’s misbehavior by explaining why it is wrong to do certain things.
Praise Them Often
Kids feed on the praise they receive from parents, teachers, even older siblings. Frequent praise will help to build children’s self-esteem. Let them know that they have done well. Give them a thumbs-up when they do a good job. Praise from parents and teachers will make them feel good about themselves. When you tell children they did a great job, it will encourage them to do better next time.
Help Them Be Independent
Don’t be too quick to help your child solve an issue or their schoolwork every time they ask for help. Encourage them to solve it on their own first. If they get stuck, you can always step in and tell them what they can do differently next time. Trust children to manage tasks themselves and watch how they solve them. If they face difficulties with these tasks, praise them for their efforts and encourage them to do better next time.
Children learn and grow at their own pace. Avoid comparing children to their friends, cousins, neighbors, or other children. When you constantly compare them, you make them feel like failures and not good enough. Constant comparison will lower their self-worth and make them think poorly of themselves.
Encourage Physical Activity
There is a connection between physical health and mental wellbeing or growth. Physical activity can boost your child’s energy, mood, and overall mental health. Take walks with your child as often as possible, talking about school and other matters. Let your child know the importance of staying hydrated, eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting enough rest, and exercising regularly.
It is easy to focus on children’s physical health as a parent, but do you also consider their emotions in your daily interactions? Drawing closer will help you notice when they face issues you can help them navigate. Use the tips in this article to improve your child’s mental health.
About the Author: Jessica Kaminski is a math tutor at Brighterly. She has eight years of experience teaching math and is a native English speaker with a Master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Ostrava. Jessica loves to connect with kids and teach them math and life skills, and when she isn’t doing that, she enjoys writing about her experiences as a teacher.
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The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.
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