How to Care for Your Child’s Mental Health?
Created by Narayan Updated on Mar 30, 2020
Mental health is just as important in childhood as it is at any time of life. Young people can be as prone to suffering from mental health issues as adults. According to research, in 2004, 1 in 10 children in the UK aged 5-15 had a mental health disorder. By 2017, the figure had increased to 1 in 9. This is why it's so important to take care of your child's mental health.
Ways to Care About Your Child’s Mental Health
The good news is that there are some relatively simple steps that you can take to help protect the mental health of your child.
Create a Good Bedtime Routine
Getting the right amount of sleep is essential in helping your child to function as they should. As the experts at Little Lucy Willow say;
"To be able to function and interact with a good attention span an age-appropriate amount of sleep is essential."
The effect that lack of sleep can have on mental health is a major factor. This applies to your child's current day to day life and to their future. Research carried out at Harvard University suggests that children who have disrupted sleep patterns are more likely to develop anxiety and depression disorders when they are older.
You can see how important it is to help your child to develop a good sleep routine. There are several things that you can do. Here are some tips that you should find useful.
Make sure that your child has a comfortable and supportive bed to sleep in and use blackout curtains to keep out excess light while they sleep.
Discourage the use of tablets, and other electronic devices, in the half-hour directly before it's time to sleep.
Keep to the same bedtimes and getting up times for your child. Ideally, the routine should be continued on weekends as well as school days.
Seek advice from your doctor if your child is having ongoing problems sleeping. A few days of less than perfect sleep is not a major issue but problems should not be allowed to continue beyond a couple of weeks.
Enjoy Exercise As a Family
Regular exercise does not just provide physical benefits for your child; it's beneficial to their mental health as well. This is due to the fact that physical activity leads to the release of endorphins. These endorphins help to create feelings of happiness and reduce stress.
The NHS recommends that children should get an hour of moderate exercise each day, in order to maintain good physical and mental health. This can include activities such as walking to school or playing out with friends.
There are also activities that you can enjoy as a family, such as playing football in the park. Exercising as a family is good for everyone's physical and mental well-being. It also gives you the opportunity to spend time communicating with each other and enjoying each other's company.
Create An Environment Where Communication is Encouraged
Your child should always feel that they are able to communicate with you honestly. In order to make sure that this is the case, you need to create a warm and supportive environment.
This makes it easier for your child to talk to you when they need to. When this happens, you should listen carefully and be empathetic. Your child needs to feel that they are being listened to and that they have the support they need.
It's also important to remember that your child will not always tell you how they are feeling. They will not always discuss problems with you. It's important that you look for changes in mood or behaviour and talk to your child about them. This can be a big help to them if they are feeling down or worried.
It may be necessary to seek professional help if you think that there is a serious problem. It's a good idea to speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about the mental well-being of your child.
Happy Parenting :)
1. What new statistics show about children's mental health | Mentalhealth.org
2. Family Exercises - 5 fun ideas to get the whole family active | Diabetes.co.uk
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