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Mental health in kids is a tricky subject. Luckily there are some ways parents can help.
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When you become a parent, you commit to devoting most of
your time and attention to the health and welfare of a small person who depends
on your decisions completely. Healthy eating, stimulating play, social
interaction, and regular doctor visits can the essential tasks, but ensuring
healthy mental health requires more specific activities that develop a strong
sense of belonging and a healthy self-image.
If you want your child to learn patience, diligence,
kindness, and tolerance, model these behaviors in yourself. Children will see
how to behave and will integrate these behaviors into their own
Regular eating, sleep times, and play times help to give
children a sense of security and order that allows them to put the rest of life
in proper perspective. Individuals studying to get a master’s degree in social work understand
the critical importance of stability and regularity in the development of
children, which allows them a suitable base to expand their learning and their
Catch children in the act of doing something you approve of
and mention it to them. No action is too small to praise, whether it is good
interaction with siblings, putting away toys, or helping a playmate.
Parents should actively limit the amount of time children spend
watching TV or operating the computer. Although these activities can be
enriching and educational, they can also be a means of withdrawing from normal
behaviors that help them develop both intellectually and socially.
Children benefit from having clear, reasonable
limits on behavior so they can operate safely in their lives and their
environments and can be free of confusion. Caretakers, such as babysitters or
grandparents should be apprised of these limits so they can maintain the same
Parents can also help their
children by staying alert to any signs that a child is having emotional
difficulties or is unable to get beyond a loss.
These children can benefit from assessment and counseling from a qualified
psychologist. Warning signs include:
· A child that is very angry or very worried on
a regular basis
· A child that can’t enjoy pleasurable
· A child that isolates themselves
· A child that has eating problems or sleeping
· A child that hurts others or destroys property
· A child that abuses alcohol, drugs or tobacco
· A child that cuts or harms himself
· A child that hear voices
· A child that cannot control their thoughts or
· A child that has suicidal thoughts
Good mental health for children is a matter of
supporting positive behaviors and finding effective ways to correct negative
behavior. The time and care that parents spend with their children on a
consistent basis can be instrumental in helping kids develop a healthy outlook
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