As parents, we can accumulate our child’s habits – how many chocolates they take, the number of times they watch baby looney tunes, how much they score, so on and so forth. However, being a parent, that’s not the end to it.
A child’s mental wellbeing – the ability to function in society, handle feelings and cope with the demands of life – is quite hard to quantify and notice, but still, there are ways we can nurture emotionally healthy children and imbibe positivity in them.
Here are some simple tips to raise an emotionally healthy child:
From their early stages, children start experiencing different emotions that lead to uncertain circumstances. Be honest and open with your child, while explaining your decisions and also, request them for the same. This, in turn, encourages them to open up to you.
Few parents become anxious that being overly affectionate might make children too needy. However, it actually helps them feel safe and boost self-esteem. So whether it’s giving your preschooler lots of cuddles, or telling your teenager you love them, it’s great! Keep practising.
Spend some quality time
Always set aside some time for your child to give them undivided attention. Sit with them; play with them; take the dog for a walk together; ask them about their day and how they are feeling, and wait for their response. Understand & talk.
Don’t play down their feelings
Young children do have tantrums, but dismissing all outbursts or sulky silences as ‘just a phase’ could mean you don’t spot underlying problems. Be sensitive to your child’s behaviour. If they are unusually quiet or withdrawn in school, there could be deeper reasons. Sort it out with them.
Limit the devices
In infants, spending more time on handheld devices has been linked to an increased risk of speech delays, while the pressure to be constantly available on social media contributes to depression, anxiety and poor sleep. Parents should make it a priority to reduce child-computer interaction and should “practice” it as well.
At times, taking care of your child’s mental health can seem daunting. Although with a few simple steps you can create an environment to feel more comfortable discussing their emotions from a young age.
Healthcare professionals have seen an increase in the number of youths being treated for anxiety and depression. Let your child not be the one!