The most beloved and pure relationship is undoubtedly that of parents and children. Parents always wish for the best for their children. Once you become a parent, your life revolves around your children. They become your drive to keep on pushing hard. All the parents in the world look forward to providing a better future and a better life for their children. Parenthood is a feeling that stands equally pure and loving across all sociocultural norms.
But unfortunately, 9.4% of children in the age group of 2-17 have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). More than 7.4% of children of the same age group have a medically diagnosed behavioral problem. After all such beautiful emotions running through this relationship, why do 7.1% of children have anxiety disorders? That’s certainly too many distressing facts to digest. Unfortunately, these are indeed the bitter truth of our society.
No parents would ever want their kids to go through a traumatizing time. However, the figures quoted above point out possible loopholes where parents are missing the focus. You might be trying your best to meet all the needs of your children. But, you are probably missing out on a critical element to ensure that your child is in perfect health. Mental health is undoubtedly one of such areas that parents tend to ignore. Mainly because symptoms of cognitive issues usually are not apparent. You require a very scrupulous sight to recognize that your child is going through some mental health issues. This article talks about six ways to improve your child's mental health.
Work on Emotional Intelligence
There are four levels of emotional intelligence; self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Children certainly do not deploy emotional intelligence of the top-tier domain. They can fall mainly within the first level of self-awareness. The very first level serves as the foundation for building the later ones appropriately. You should understand your children and work on their self-esteem, self-efficacy, and self-image. It would enhance their self-awareness and bolster emotional intelligence. Train yourself through online healthcare programs, learn the development phases and emotional and physical needs of children. Devise a schedule with dedicated time for only children. Whatever it is, you should do the best you can to nurture your children emotionally.
Provide proper nourishment
A well-balanced breakfast, healthy lunch for school and a delicious dinner sums up your satisfaction for providing nourishment to your children. However, nutritional sustenance is not enough. As a parent, you should provide the necessary mental care to your children. You should talk with them and share their stories, and help release their stress. It would help if you were a friend to them to share anything without the worry of being judged. There’s already enough negative peer pressure that your children absorb in different social interactions. They need someone to lighten that weight and get mentally calm. Talking to parents and receiving proper counsel indeed serve as a tremendous mental cushion for them.
Enhance your awareness
Parents are often ignorant of their child’s mental needs because they deem that children do not suffer from stress or anxiety. In this contemporary world with an incredibly fast-moving life, most parents tend to ignore their children. They are just not aware of the emotional and mental state of their children. If you want to improve your children’s mental health, the first step is to be mindful of them. Keep a check if they are facing any stressors. Then try your best to remove that stressor from their surroundings.
Children are naturally divergent thinkers. They possess innate skills to process information from their surroundings and generate creative solutions. A decade ago when children could barely understand puzzles during initial years of development. Now they voice search cartoons at the same age. They can understand their environment in a way more comprehensive way than we think. We don’t suggest letting your kid be on its own but for you to be less overpowering and sensitive. It would help if you let them experience the world without your unnecessary intervention. You should let their creativity go free, and their mind will develop in a much better way if you don’t inhibit its creative output. A child asks dozens of questions. However, we see a decline in this habit as they grow. Increased knowledge about their surroundings is a reason for it. But mainly, the external suppression of their creativity causes a decreased sense of interest in their surroundings.
Avoid too much criticism
According to Binghamton University's research, children having overwhelmingly critical parents express radically reduced attention to emotional cues. It proves that unnecessary criticism can harm the emotional and mental development of your children. You can never have a productive discussion with them if you constantly point out their mistakes and criticize them. Children will avoid communicating with you. They will feel insecure if you mainly focus on their mistakes. You should provide constructive criticism to your children. It would be pivotal for their overall development. However, it would help if you remained within a threshold. Otherwise, it impacts their mental health negatively.
Build Trust in Your Relationship
There is a natural essence of trust and belief in a parent-child relationship. According to a survey, 79% of children trust their parents over anyone else for advice regarding an important matter. Increasing family issues and negative stressors like economic crisis, marital conflicts, and divorce or separation tend to deteriorate that trust. Under increasing mental pressure, a parent-child relation suffers a huge trust deficit. Loss of someone whom children can trust blindly impacts their mental health badly. Therefore, you should maintain a trusting relationship with your children and build that trust over time instead of losing it.
Children are your reflection. You would certainly not want this reflection to be clouded. Therefore, you should work on their mental health. It is relatively easier to take care of your children’s physical health. However, mental health requires proper monitoring. It demands a systematic approach to understand your children and provide them ample time. It requires you to schedule your life smartly. It would help if you had the proper motivation to ensure you are executing parenthood responsibilities properly. Only then will you be able to take care of your children’s mental health.