All kids face psychological well-being difficulties sooner or later in their lives. Here’s what parents can do to help their children build a solid foundation for mental health.
Just as all children are susceptible to the common cold, all children may encounter mental health challenges. Parents encourage children to bandage more, eat more nutritious food, and exercise to improve their health. However, the misconception that mental illness is permanent or entirely genetically related has long made parents reluctant to consider how to raise mentally strong children. This is the ideal opportunity to change that.
As a mental health care practitioner working with toddlers and new parents, I created a growth wheel to emphasize the components of developing mentally strong children. In nurturing their children’s mental health, parents should consider nine types of growth: emotional, interpersonal, communicative, moral, confident, physical, and controlling. I use the growth wheel as a mindfulness intervention in clinical practice and encourage families I work with to explore each of these categories to improve their mental health. Here’s how to set up the growth wheel and how to use it to raise a mentally strong child.
Imagine the emotional and stressful experience with your child. Parents’ efforts to visualize their emotions can help children understand mental stress as a normal experience and illustrate a healthy coping process. You’re probably familiar with visualizations like cloud graphs, tree diagrams, venn charts, and more – use these charts to share your feelings with your child and encourage them to do the same when they’re stressed.
Create levels together to express relationship needs and boundaries. It is important for children to understand how different levels of trust affect relationships with others and reflect important boundaries. When children begin to build relationships with other children and adults, actively invite them to build a “five-level” relationship. An effective approach is that they can draw a circle or house, center on themselves, and then have them add family and friends and others to the house before going outside. They can even paint various places, such as their school. This exercise helps them to visually “classify” people and understand how they should be in different situations
Acknowledge that communication is a process and pursue efficiency. Your goal doesn’t have to be to understand all the causes of your child’s stress. Do your best, but you won’t be able to read their thoughts. In times of disagreement, instead of asserting your authority or questioning their reasoning, you can pursue communication efficiency by finding common ground and recognizing larger long-term goals and common interests.
By playing “You Are the Judge,” children are able to make decisions with moral consequences. Psychologists believe that by the age of 6 to 7, children are able to consider the complex issues of justice and fairness. When playing “You Be the Judge,” children have the right to make decisions, and you have the opportunity to influence the moral development of your children. An easy way to achieve this is to do a role switch, asking them how they feel and expecting you to respond if you are a “child” in a role-play and they are an adult. This can also be a stepping stone to explaining empathy to your child.
Take the time to talk about connection and beyond. Children are born with a sense of awe and amazement. Get some information about their philosophical convictions and they might astonish you! The opportunity to ask these profound questions may come from time in nature, themes inspired by films, or brief moments of shared consciousness. However, these are not necessarily rare moments. Make it a routine for your child to talk to them about mental issues at a young age, and when they grow up, it will feel easier and the topic will become more complex.
Reward your child’s “quiet self” and encourage mindful activities without the need for praise. Promoting and encouraging immersive and creative experiences may be more meaningful for children’s mental health than positive praise for results. Instead of praising the products your child creates, express their sense of self by praising their qualities of focus, creativity, and enthusiasm.
Set an example of self-care for your child. Studies have shown that children can feel the pressure of their parents. You should discuss your stress and explain why you are doing self-care. Children should also be encouraged to identify healthy activities that reduce stress and encourage them to engage in self-care on their own. You can regulate self-care and regulate healthy responses to stress by modeling these behaviors yourself.
Dedicate yourself to regular mindfulness techniques. Children and adults can learn a wide range of mindfulness techniques that can improve self-control and enhance personal insight. Meagan McCarthy, a special education teacher in Tucson, described the use of “push/pull techniques” to make children appear aggressive in a previous article for parents. This activity works by having you face your child and have them push their hands into your palm as they exhale. McCarthy said it could help them eliminate aggression in a safe way. Similarly, parents and children can develop mindfulness skills to better communicate them
The Bottom Line
As a parent, it’s important to understand mental health as a dynamic state of well-being. Each of these eight tips provides a way to support your child’s mental health as a natural part of growth and development. When used in conjunction with each other over a period of time, these developmental techniques can become healthy habits that help parents develop mentally strong children.
Social Skills for Kids Growth
Learning social skills is a critical part of a child’s development. Good social skills allow children to interact positively with others and effectively communicate their needs, desires, and feelings. In addition, the benefits of strong social skills go far beyond social relationships and acceptance. Children with better social skills may reap immediate benefits. For example, one study found that good social skills can reduce stress in children in daycare facilities. As children grow, social skills need to be perfected. They are not things that children have or do not have. These skills evolve with age and can be learned and added through effort and practice
Here are Some Tips for Social Skills for Kids Growth
- Benefits Better Outcomes for Kids Growth
- More Success
- Stronger Friendships
- Reduced Stress
- Stronger Friendships
- Respecting Personal Space
- Following Directions
Benefits Better Outcomes for Kids Growth
Interactive abilities carry a great many advantages to youngsters. They are associated with greater success in school and building better relationships with peers.
Researchers at Penn State and Duke University found that children who are better at sharing, listening, cooperating, and following the rules at age five are more likely to go to college. They are also more likely to work full-time at age 25.
Good social skills can also help children have a brighter future. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, a child’s social and emotional skills in kindergarten may be the biggest predictor of success in adulthood. Children who lack social and emotional skills are more likely to rely on public assistance, have legal problems, abuse drugs, and experience relationship problems.
Here are five things smart parents do to raise successful, mentally strong kids:
- They approve their sentiments
- They mentor them on the most proficient method to deal with their feelings
- They let them commit errors
- They issue settle together
- They permit their children to feel awkward.
Children who are socially competent and get along well with their peers are more likely to make friends. Research shows that childhood friendships are beneficial to children’s mental health.3 Friendships also give children the opportunity to practice more advanced social skills, such as problem-solving and conflict resolution.
Not having social skills to interact with others can also exacerbate stress. For example, being away from family can be stressful for children. At the point when they can’t discuss successfully with others, it just deteriorates. Fortunately interactive abilities can be instructed. It’s never too early to show children how to get along with others. It’s never too late to improve their skills. Start with the most basic social skills and then improve your child’s skills over time.
Being willing to share snacks or toys can go a long way toward helping children make and keep friends. According to a study published in the journal Psychological Science, children as young as 2 may show a desire to share with others – but usually only when their resources are abundant. Kids may be reluctant to share half of their cookies with friends because it means they’ll have less fun. But it may be easy for the same children to share toys they are no longer interested in playing with. By the age of 7 or 8, children will be even more
Cooperation means working together to achieve common goals. Cooperative children show respect when others ask for it. They also contribute, participate and help. Good collaboration skills are essential to get along successfully within the community. Your child needs to collaborate with classmates on the playground and in class. As an adult, cooperation is also important. By about 3 1/2 years of age, toddlers can begin to work toward a common goal with their peers. For children, collaboration can involve anything from building toy towers together to playing games that require everyone’s participation. Part of cooperation also means when things don’t go their way
Listening isn’t just about being quiet – it means really absorbing what others have to say. Listening is likewise a significant piece of solid correspondence. After all, much of the learning in school depends on a child’s ability to listen to the teacher. As your child progresses academically, it becomes more important to absorb material, take notes, and think about what is being said. Giving your child many opportunities to practice listening can strengthen this skill. Listening is additionally a significant piece of creating compassion. Children cannot show empathy or offer support to others without first listening and understanding what others are saying. Let your child know how to listen when he or she grows up
Children who have difficulty following instructions can experience various consequences. From having to redo homework to getting in trouble for misbehaving, not following instructions can be a big problem. Whether you’re instructing your child to clean the room or telling them how to improve their soccer skills, it’s important that kids are able to get their way and follow directions. However, you must be proficient in instructions before you expect your child to be good at following them.
How to Give Effective Instructions
- Use clear and specific commands
- Give age-appropriate instructions
- Give instructions one at a time
- Keep explanations simple
- Give kids time to process
Respecting Personal Space
Some children speak intimately. Others crawl into the arms of acquaintances, not knowing that it will make them uncomfortable. It means a lot to show youngsters how to regard the individual space of others. Set family rules that encourage children to respect the personal space of others. “Thumping” and “Remaining quiet about your hands” are only a couple of models. If your child snatches something or pushes from people when they are impatient, determine the consequences. If your child stands too close when speaking, use it as a teachable moment. Put your child aside and offer some guidance on personal space issues. As you get older, you can work with them