Did you know that one in seven children in the U.S suffer from a mental health problem? The most common mental health issues in children include ADHD, behavioral problems, anxiety and depression, with several of these conditions occurring simultaneously. Of course, as a parent, you cannot 100% prevent your child from developing a mental health disorder, but there are ways that you can educate your child on the importance of self-care, which can help to safeguard their mental health.
Keep reading to discover the most effective and simplest steps you can take to educate your child on the value of their mental wellbeing.
Get the Basics Right
Self-care should ideally start from a young age, with your child learning how to brush their teeth, put on clean clothes, eat healthy food and take regular baths. These may seem like simple skills for them to master, but they are key in building a solid foundation for self-care that will ensure they continue to look after themselves as they get older.
Engage in Mindful Activities
Without a doubt, today’s society lives in the digital age, with new technologies emerging daily. However, too much screen time can be seriously detrimental to your child’s mental wellbeing. Instead, try and focus on regular mindful activities such as child yoga, meditating and breathing exercises that will help your child deal with any anxieties or stresses they may experience in the future.
Pursue Physical Activities
As well as looking after the mind, it is also vital that your child cares for their physical health as this is extrinsically linked to their overall mental wellbeing. Ensuring that they get regular exercise, outdoors if possible, is arguably the easiest way to keep your child happy and healthy.
Do Not Over Schedule
Yes, it is important for your child to take part in structured activities, but it is equally important that they know the importance of regular downtime. A child who feels under pressure and over-stretched is much more likely to suffer from a mental health problem than one who knows how to relax and take a break when needed.
Seek Help When Needed
A vital component in self-care is knowing when to seek professional help, as well as having the strength to embark on a mental health recovery program. Centers such as Eden Treatment offer a safe environment for vulnerable children and young adults who are suffering from depression, anxiety and/or eating disorders. They give young people a chance to work through their issues, while also providing the tools that will help them cope throughout the rest of their lives.
Look into Creative Outlets
There are several creative outlets that you can undertake with your child that are beneficial to their mental health.
- Art therapy. Art can help your child connect with their emotions, as well as help them to relax and de-stress.
- Music therapy. Listening to music has been scientifically proven to have a positive impact on children’s mental health. It has the ability to reduce stress, lower anxiety levels and help lift their mood.
- Dance therapy. Dance is incredibly expressive and can act as a highly effective tool for your child to communicate their emotions. Plus, it has the added benefit of being an excellent source of physical activity, which will help boost their mood and combat symptoms of depression.