In recent times, there has been an increase in mental health concerns across age grades and gender in our human community. Most commonly, mental health issues show up among children and adolescents in different mal-adjustive behaviours like suicide, substance abuse, sexual immorality, bullying, questionable quietness, anger issues, anorexia, stealing, and so on.
In raising our children, we must consciously help them build and manage their mental health with the tips below:
Create a family time: This should be a time of expression. Allow every member of the family to contribute to conversations and share their ideas. This should be an opportunity to help your child understand that whatever is happening with them, you are available to listen and together you both or the family can find a way around it.
Share your own experiences: Share especially tough experiences which you were able to manage and succeed at. Do not paint perfect pictures of life but let them know that in reality, life is filled with ups and downs which should be faced and dealt with as they happen. Use simple stories that your child can relate to.
Caution what is wrong: Feedback is a gift and every child should receive this gift as often as possible on a daily basis. As children act out, we must caution their behaviors and teach them to make better choices. This can be done at relaxed times when communication will be effective.
Mental health affects the way an individual thinks, acts and feels. For our children, we must provide adequate support to help them speak out, understand the ups and downs of life and also accept feedback as a gift not a way of punishment
"Some of the most comforting words in the universe are "me too". That moment when you find out your struggle is also someone else's struggle, that you are not alone and that others have been down the same road".