Mental health is always being spoken about, but what about the mental health of a child. It can be hard to help support your child’s mental health. Especially if you do not know how to support them. According to Young Minds 1 in 8 children with mental health issues. That is the equivalent to 3 or 4 children in every classroom.
This is something that is not spoken about enough. Most adults need to be made aware of what can be done to help a child’s mental health. Whether this be family members or adults that come in contact with children daily (such as teachers). I am not trained in mental health or in children mental health but have put together 8 things that can help you to support your child’s mental health. Whether it be anxiety, depression, OCD or bipolar. There are so many ways they can be suffering without you even knowing.
The problem we have a lot of the time, we lose our patients. Whether it is with children or other adults. The best thing you can do for your child is be patient. If they are suffering from mental health issues then patience is something you really need to try and have. It can be hard especially if you are having a bad day yourself but if you are constantly nagging your child and not being patient with them, they are not going to get any better. You would most likely find that their mental health condition would get worse if you keep losing your patience with them.
Have A Conversation!
This is one thing that is causing problems with children socially. You do not need to talk to your children about their feelings and have conversations about mental health. The best thing you can do is talk to them on a morning. ‘What are they looking forward to today?’ ‘Is there anything that they are worried about today?’ Then have a good conversation when they come out of school. ‘What have you done today?’ ‘How has your day been?’ ‘What was your favourite thing about the day?’ ‘What could have made your better?’ It is very easy to have a conversation with your child. It may even be about a game they are currently playing and enjoy or a movie or a tv show.
Give Them Love!
Most parents would look at this and laugh thinking ‘my child has enough love’. Yet, there are many parents that tend to buy their Childs love without even realising it. A cuddle and quality time with your child will help them a lot more than a new games console or game. They can play games and feel as much joy as they like when they win but that is not half as good as feeling love and comfort from a parent. The more you show them love and care the more they are going to talk to you and know that you are there when they need you.
Think back to all the conversations you have had with your child and how much did you really listen without blanking out. There can be so many hidden signs that your child is suffering and you aren’t even aware because your mind has wondered off as they explain something for the millionth time. See if your child has changed the way they speak and if their actions have changed. This can be a huge indicator on whether there is some hidden mental health issue deep down.
One thing adults are always afraid of doing is asking for help. We always expect children to ask when they need it but tend to forget ourselves when we need it. Your child needs help and support for their mental health and if you are not educated or understand what is going on then you need to seek help from a professional. There is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to getting help. These mental health professionals are there for a reason and that is to help you and your loved ones. A child who receives professional help is more likely to overcome or connect with their mental health than those who do not.
A positive environment is very simple. Only have people around your child who they trust, having positive people around who they know and can receive guidance from is the first step to having a positive environment. Keep the place bright, ensure that there is plenty of natural light. This can be at home, in the bedroom or at school. Having bright light can bring a little bit of joy and happiness to your child. Make it fun. Remember a home is somewhere to be lived in. Your child should be able to have fun at home without having to worry about something being out of place and making it a bit untidy. You don’t pay for a building so that it can not be loved and homey.
Nobody expects a child to go out to the gym, the only bit of exercise children need is a run around in the park or garden. Ensure you have somewhere for your child to play. It can be a little kick around in the garden or a play on the swings at the park. Even if you only go out for 10 minutes a day ensure that your child is getting the correct amount of exercise. Too many parents think that PE at school is enough exercise for a child but I can ensure you it is not!