Family And Parenting

Parents’ Guide to Mental Health in Early Childhood

As a parent, you must take the steps above to maintain good mental health and be on the lookout for any signs of anxiety or depression.

The challenges of modern childhood are very different from those of the previous generation. If you think you have mastered parenting, you might discover later on in life that your child grew up while suffering from poor mental health.

A wide range of modern challenges can cause this problem for kids. For instance, social media can lead to bullying or cause a sense of inadequacy from the posts shared on the various platforms.

Therefore, you need to learn about mental health in children to help you bring up your kids the right way. In this post, we discuss the signs of good & poor mental health and how to maintain good mental health for your young ones.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is the way you think and feel about yourself. Some refer to it as the ability to function and tackle everyday life (together with the world around you and everything it presents).

Signs of Good Mental Health

Elementary age children with good mental health are:

  • Happy and positive
  • Fun-loving and enjoy life
  • Quick learners both at school and home
  • Easy on themselves during tough times and bounce back quickly
  • Easy to get along easily with
  • Good at managing emotional feelings
  • Ready and willing to try new challenges

Signs of Poor Mental Health

Even though you are attuned to notice any changes in your child’s behavior as a parent, detecting mental health issues can be a little tricky. Generally, these issues either cause anxiety or depression:

Anxiety

There are three main types of anxiety disorders, and each has different symptoms. Social anxiety disorder can cause your child to:

  • Avoid social gatherings
  • Cancel planned social activities with friends
  • Be shy, blush, tremble, or sweat when around other people

For generalized anxiety disorder, your kid might:

  • Be extremely restless, worried, or nervous
  • Struggle to concentrate
  • Have trouble sleeping
  • Get tired easily
  • Experience unexplained aches

The last one is obsessive-compulsive disorder, and it causes these symptoms:

  • Obsessive and unwanted thoughts
  • Excessive concern with symmetry
  • Thoughts of self-harm or harming others
  • Fear of dirt, germ, or virus contamination

Depression

Depression is having a low mood or feeling sad for a long time. It can cause your young one to lose interest in life or feel hopeless, worthless, and helpless.

How To Maintain Good Mental Health for Your Child

To keep your child from experiencing poor mental health, experts recommend these parenting behaviors.

Maintain a Positive Relationship

Always tell your child that you love him/her no matter what. Reinforce this through body language, such as by giving hugs regularly and smiling.

Also, give your kid full attention when he/she wants to talk. Take some time every day to talk about issues and challenges in school and at home, and you can do this while engaging in fun activities, like playing board games or drawing.

When he/she does something wrong, use positive and constructive methods to correct the behavior.

Talk About Emotions

Children undergo fear, anxiety, disappointment, hope, joy, and all kinds of emotions when growing up. Talking will help them to understand that it is natural to have all these feelings. Not only will this help them to cope better in the future but also it will bring you closer together.

If your kid is having trouble with friends or at school, assure him/her of your support. Try to get to the bottom of the matter as soon as possible. You can solve this by contacting the respective parents or teachers for talks. Always have your kid’s back.

Encourage Good Physical Health

Good physical health has a direct positive impact on mental health. It helps your kids to sleep better, feel more confident, and have more energy.

You can encourage this by ensuring your child eats healthy, engages in sporting activities, and gets enough sleep at the end of the day.

Encourage Goal Setting and Learning New Skills

As part of their growth journey, encourage your kids to set goals that match their age. For instance, they can set targets to learn how to swim or speak in front of their class.

When they achieve their goals, not only will this make them feel accomplished, but it will help them learn new skills. Boost their self-confidence by praising them when they hit their goals.

Conclusion

To sum up, mental health problems can begin early and ruin your kid’s childhood or even his/her entire life. As a parent, you must take the steps above to maintain good mental health and be on the lookout for any signs of anxiety or depression.

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