Instead of watching television or playing video games, encourage your child to move through physical games like tag or dance, to be curious through exploration activities like gardening, or to analyze through mind games like Monopoly or Jenga.
Never underestimate the importance of play for your child’s physical, mental, and social development. Play offers a context for your child to develop cognitive skills, physical abilities, language and literacy skills, emotional perseverance, and social skills. Further, it helps your child to reduce stress and anxiety. Play’s mix of simple and complex rules allows your child to eventually navigate the rules of society.
Support from Other Caregivers
There is a reason why teachers are considered a child’s second parent. Your child spends an increasingly large amount of time at school. In this environment, teachers are the caretakers of your child. This does not mean that you have to leave everything to your child’s teachers.
Although they are trained to teach, not all educators are trained to deal with mental health for children. If you communicate regularly with your child’s teachers, then you can provide a more comprehensive, two-pronged system for your child’s mental wellbeing.
Safety and Security
The big world can be a scary place for your child. Providing a safe and secure home can alleviate your child’s fears. Your home can be the one place where fears can be discussed freely without criticism. Always remember that the fear may be very real and important to your child, so helping her or him navigate through the fear is important for mental wellbeing.
Nurturing mental health for children can be summarized to this: Be loving, encouraging, and reassuring instead of nagging, threatening, or controlling. Choose to be firm but kind. If you feel that you’re overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to consult your child’s pediatrician or a mental health professional near you.
Learn more about Child Health here.