Most parents are very particular about kid’s timely vaccinations, their school performance, their food intake and their physical well being. But what about their mental health?
How many parents have given a serious thought to the mental health of their kids?
Sadly, a very few of them. Understand that mental wellbeing is as important as physical health. Moreover, it is a myth that only adults can be victims of these concerns, children are suffering as much or maybe more than anyone else. Parents are the first level of support for kids. Thus, it is very important for parents to identify the red alarms in the behaviour of their children and take timely action before it’s too late.
Wondering what are the red alarms?
Warning Signs of Deteriorating Mental Health
Understanding the problem is the first step to healing. Clearly look out for the signs that indicate that your little kid is going through something big and serious. Here are the signs you need to watch out for.
- Feeling inactive and tired most of the time .
- Decrease in performance in studies.
- Having anxiety attacks
- Temperament going out of control .
- Aggressive behaviour. Often, kids use their anger to mask their inner feelings.
- Frequent breakdowns and tantrums
- Recurrent nightmares
- Talking like they are feeling worthless or hopeless.
- Facing struggle to get along with people
- Feeling frustrated, sad or depressed
- Cannot concentrate or think attentively
- Watching depressed or suicidal content.
Yes, children can be moody and you may get false alarms too. But, you must not ignore these signs if they are persistent. Mental health is underrated in our world. You must understand that only timely and accurate action can save your child from these serious mental health issues.
Let us see what you can do to make amends.
How You Can Improve Your Child’s Mental Health?
First of all, do not panic! Yes, it is a major concern but by deteriorating your own mental health, you can never improve your child’s. Try to stay calm and then move ahead. If adequate actions are taken at the right time, then you can significantly boost their mental health. Here are the 7 ways in which you can do your bit.
1. Provide Adequate Attention
Be attuned to your kid. Pay attention to their verbal and non verbal communication to understand their needs. Most importantly, be empathetic and respond to fulfill these needs. Children can easily sense when they are taken seriously and when not. So, take your steps mindfully. Try not to make them feel disapproved.
2. Create a Safe Space
Create a space where anyone in the family can express their feelings without the fear of being judged. You can try making a ritual where your family gathers after dinner and talk about how their day went. Like most children, if your kid is not comfortable expressing in front of everyone then in initial days talk to them in private. And then after some time, include them in this family ritual.
3. Regular Play Time
Playing and physical activities are immensely important to keep intact not only physical health but mental wellbeing too. Encourage your children to put down their smartphones and have some fun time with their siblings or friends. Also, take out some time from your own busy schedule to accompany them. It will make them feel relaxed and joyful. The brownie point is the more they are engaged in physical activities, the better their quality of sleep will be.
4. Maintain Proper Diet
It is a myth that a proper diet can affect just the physical health of a being. A well balanced diet can significantly improve psychological health. Right nutrient intake can help in achieving a proper mental balance. Make a distance from fast food and try to include veggies, fruits and nuts in the diet of your child.
5. Plan Frequent Small Getaways or Vacations
Take out some time from your and your kid’s mundane routine to explore nature and new places. Monotonous daily life of going to school and tuition and then completing home assignments can make them feel uninterested and fatigued. Try to break this monotonous routine once in a while by doing something different. Be it a small quick getaway or a long holiday, it can fill them with new energy and vigor.
6. Control Media Usage
All thanks to social media, kids are facing mental health vulnerabilities like jealousy, FOMO, anxiety and depression more than ever. Try to keep your kids away from these harmful apps by using the best parental control software like Bit Guardian Parental Control. It will not only control their screen time but also monitor their search history to warn you for any potential threats.
7. Get Help
According to verified sources, only 21% of kids are diagnosed by experts for psychological health concerns. Others are not taken seriously as their parents are in constant denial. Most parents think they are too young to suffer from mental health concerns. In reality, kids are the most vulnerable. In the United States, 1 in 5 kids is a victim of anxiety and depression and other psychological issues. Do not hesitate to seek professional help from a pediatrician or mental health professional if your kid is suffering too.
Your kid’s psychological health is a vital part of their overall well-being. It is important for your child to have strong resilience and emotional habits. If you see any red flags regarding mental health, consult a professional without waiting for too long. Early intervention is very necessary as it can help you solve the problem before it’s too late.