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Child Mental Health. General overview.

It is easy for parents to identify their child’s physical needs: healthy food, warm clothes when it’s cold, a reasonable bedtime hour.
However, the child mental health will not be as obvious. A good mental health allows young people to think clearly, to be sociable, and learn new things. Proper playmates, words of encouragement on the part of adults and rules of behaviour are also important to give confidence to your child.

Give your child unconditional love
Love, acceptance, and safety should provide the basis for a healthy family. Your child needs to know that love for him doesn’t depend on his achievements. Mistakes and/or failures must be accepted.

Boost your child’s confidence
Encouraging first steps of your child or his ability to learn a new game makes the child to explore and learn about the environment around him. Allow your child to explore and play in a safe area where he cannot hurt himself. Provide your child safety, by smiling and talking to him often. Participate actively in the activities of your child.
Don’t hide your failures. It is important for young people to know that we all make mistakes. Child mental health can be improved by letting him know that mom and dad aren’t perfect.

Make time to play
For a kid to play means to have fun; however play is just as important to children’s development as food or care. Playing helps a child to be creative, and gives him some control.
Parents can also be excellent playmates. A game or a colouring book together with your child gives you the opportunity to spend time in a relaxing atmosphere.
Your child mental health should also be enhanced by the fact that school should be a pleasure.
If your child is on the verge of starting school, “to play school” can be a positive way to give him an idea of what this means. Try to enrol the child in a good kindergarten before, it will be a good opportunity to be with other kids and make friends.
The child should learn the basic things, like taking a decision or coping with problems.

Rules and discipline
Your rules as a parent must be accurate and consistent. As members of a family, children must learn the rules of a united family. They will carry them at school and at work.
Physical punishment can lead to resentment and more disobedience. It is extremely important for parents to learn and to develop new methods instead of any physical punishments, thus improving your child mental health.

Home safety
It is ok that children sometimes are afraid. Everybody is afraid of something in a certain period of life. Fear and anxiety arise due to some experiences that we don’t understand.
If your child is continuously afraid and this affects his behaviour, the first step is to find out what the child is afraid of. Show him that you love him, be patient and tolerant, and don’t criticize him. Remember that fear can be very real for a child.

Signs of fear: nervousness, shyness, isolation, and aggressive behaviour can be signs of childhood fear.(Source: UnicaSports)

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