10 Ways To Promote Good Mental Health In Children
Mental Health is important no matter what age, and to celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week (7th-13th February 2022), we wanted to share some helpful resources and tips to help you promote better mental health for children of all ages.
These simple ideas and activities can improve the mental wellbeing of a child as well as their health overall.
1. Teach children to be kind
One of the most important lessons you can teach a child from a young age is to be kind to others. This can be anything from smiling at someone on the playground, holding a door open for someone, or offering a hug or a chocolate to another. Instilling these values in a young child can help them to develop their compassion and emotional maturity.
2. Avoid negative media
As adults, we all know the dangers of social media as well as the negativity surrounding certain tv shows and movies. In order to improve a child’s mental health, it is important to avoid negative media and focus on pieces with messages of positivity and hope instead. This is why Disney and Pixar movies are so popular with children as they teach valuable lessons and instill good values.
3. Encourage sharing feelings
Sharing emotions and feelings is important at any age. Many of us bottle up our emotions and the weight of them can become heavy on our minds. To help children stay happier, encouraging them to speak openly about their thoughts and feelings is key. Whether asking a child about their day, how they feel about their dinner, or even asking if they are tired – all of these questions instill a theme of sharing.
4. Know it’s ok to be sad or mad
For a child, it can be difficult to express emotions, and many children feel like they have to be happy all of the time. It is important as a caregiver to reassure a child that it is ok to be sad sometimes or mad at something that has happened to them. There are many emotions we can experience, and sometimes we might feel a little blue. Talking about an example of when this has happened to you can be a good way to demonstrate this to a child, and it will make them feel more comfortable sharing their own feelings.
5. Eat regular meals
Between meal times, there will be a lapse in sugar levels, and this can impact a child’s mood. It is important to eat regular, small meals throughout the day to maintain a balance of hormones and sugar levels.
6. Eat the rainbow
Healthy eating is an important concept for anyone of any age, and it is crucial for children to eat a balanced diet to help them develop. Mood can be impacted greatly by the food we eat, which is why having balanced meals containing all of the essential nutrients we need is important. An easy way to do this for children is to create a plate full of many colours. Different coloured foods contain different nutrients, and hence contain different benefits for the body. To ensure a child is healthy and happy, adding lots of colour to their plate is important.
7. Get some fresh air
It has been proven that being out in the fresh air is good for both body and soul. If your child is struggling with their emotions, going out to the park can be a wonderful way to calm them down and make them feel happier.
8. Create a good bedtime routine
Sleep is one of the most important processes our body can undertake. As a caregiver or parent, ensuring your child has a consistent routine is imperative for their mental health. When a child sleeps, their brain is able to relax, and they are able to reset ready for a brand new day. Getting enough sleep can improve mood, energy levels, and stress levels.
9. Be open and honest
Nurturing an environment of honesty is important as a caregiver. Children soak up information like a sponge, and it is crucial for their cognitive and emotional development to be honest and share things with them. Treating a child like they are an adult makes them feel special, and they will learn to respect you for it. A child who is taught to be honest will be happier as well as more open to the world.
10. Praise achievements
It is important when looking after a child that you praise their achievements when they make them. Acknowledging achievements and wins will make your child feel noticed, and it will also encourage them to keep working at their hobbies and interests.
We think it’s important to nurture mental health from an early age, and in the coming weeks we will be sharing more resources in line with Children’s Mental Health Week.