At this time and age, our children are more exposed to issues that might affect them mentally. The openness that we have today might be great, but it definitely comes with its own kinds of stress overwhelming our little ones. So, how to make sure that your child’s mental health is well cared for? Keep on reading.
You can also join our discussion with Christine Kritzas from Light House Arabia on how to detect if your child is struggling emotionally
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Is mental care essential at young ages?
This doesn’t mean we should panic, but it means that we, as mums, should be able to recognize the issues and understand what actions need to be taken.
What should I do to ensure my child’s mental health?
As a mum, you play an important role in your child’s mental health. You foster good mental health by what you say, what you do, and the environment you create at home. There are a number of things you can do to achieve that:
1| Provide love
Daily hugs and kisses are essential, but you also need other forms of love to care for your child’s mental health. For example, treat your child with loving respect, provide love through listening to what they have to say and show them that you understand their feelings using positive expressions.
2| Create friendly environments
The first relationship your children have is with you. It becomes the manual they consider when building other relationships. Therefore, having a friendly environment leads to having good backgrounds in relationships which allows them to build strong and caring ones with their siblings or their friends.
3| Be supportive
Support is another form of love. Being supportive means recognizing your kids’ efforts, praising them for good behaviour and helping them be realistic to achieve their goals. Understanding your child’s skills and interests contribute a lot to how you support them. Keep in mind that this kind of support builds up their self-esteem and makes them feel good about themselves which is essential for their mental care.
4| Introduce calming exercises
Anxiety and depression starts from little panic episodes which can be controlled if we were to spot them early. Many therapists recommend breathing exercises and meditation to be taught to children at an early age to help control their panic episodes.
5| Eliminate negative energy
This comes from creating a friendly environment and calming exercises. It also has a lot to do with what surrounds your child. For instance, bright colors and nature promote positive energy while staying in a dark room within four walls all day would foster negative energy. Also, exercising in general is great to get this negativity out of their bodies. Take them swimming, or teach them to play sports like basketball which would take the edge off and promote happy positive energy.
Are there any signs I should look for?
There are several warning signs that you can look for:
-Changes in behavior, thinking, or feelings
-Physical signs: variation in energy, unexplained pains
-Refusing social interactions
In general, any big, sometimes negative, change reflecting your child can be a warning sign.
What should I do if I find any of the previous signs?
First we recommend talking to your child’s doctor. Make sure that you’re not overthinking things. Do what we previously recommended, talk to your child and explain your concerns. If you felt that didn’t help and you can still see the signs, then you need to take other actions.
Is there a need for outside help?
It might be needed for sure. But try not to start directly with therapists and sessions. Start with a school counselor for example, have them talk to your child and try to understand if those signs are related to mental health or is it an acting-out issue. If therapy was later recommended then therapy it is.
Are you too afraid to subject your child to outside help?
That would be understandable. But keep in mind that you are protecting your child for the long run. Mental care professionals will help your child based on diagnosing the symptoms and study their effect on your child’s daily life. Their evaluations usually include studying the family’s mental and physical health history, investigating emotional traumas, they’ll have a conversation with your child and sometimes they’ll include you as well.
The thing is, you need to be patient because these types of evaluations might take time and change oftenly because children might face trouble expressing or understanding how they feel.
What can I do after the diagnoses?
First, you need to understand the doctor’s orders. Then, you need to remember that you shouldn’t tip toe around your child because that will have a counter effect. Just keep loving and supporting your child, learn more about what is going on, and explore stress management techniques to help you respond calmly.
Remember, you contribute a lot to your children’s mental health.So, keep nurturing them, support them, and provide what is needed to care for them mentally and you and your little ones will do great!