What is Mental Health ?
Mental health is, as the CDC defines, “reaching developmental and emotional milestones, and learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems”.
Promoting mental health awareness in early childhood can equip your child with the skills and tools that can lead to success. But, it is important to know what types of mental health struggles are common with children.
The three most common mental health struggles with children include: ADHD, anxiety, and behavior disorders.
If left unaddressed, mental health issues can begin to affect how a child plays, interacts with peers, and expresses their emotions. This can then lead to developmental issues in the future.
It is important to note that mental health is just as important as our physical health. You wouldn’t want to force someone with a fever to work like they weren’t sick. That would make them tired, and probably make their fever worse. Instead, you would want to offer ways to make the fever better before this person can go back to their regular schedule. Along the same line, you wouldn’t want to push someone who is struggling with mental health without offering resources, otherwise these issues can become worse.
How to address and support mental health
So, what can be done to address and support mental health with your child? First and foremost, parents and teachers can make children aware of the fact that they are there for them. This is an excellent way for children to recognize that their emotions are valid, and they have someone they can talk about their problems and worries with. Therapy is also another excellent resource, as a trained professional can provide tangible resources and ways for children to begin to improve their mental health. Therapists can also offer ways for adults to help children in their lives.
At home, there are many ways to ensure that your child’s mental health is supported.
We have said this many times before, but structure is an excellent way to support mental health! Structure can decrease stress, and provide a way for children to know when it is time to work and when it is time to unwind from their day.
It is also okay to let your child recognize that sometimes, assignments can feel hard, or something in their day may not go the way they had planned. This may lead to them becoming frustrated and sad. Encouraging them to find ways to work past these emotions can be more beneficial than trying to make sure they never feel anything negative.
Finally, children pay attention to their grownups! By modeling good behavior and healthy habits, they will begin to learn what works for them. Things like eating healthy foods, getting exercise, and finding productive ways to express big emotions and work past them are all excellent ways to support mental health for your child, and even yourself!
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Hi, I'm Miss Charlotte!
Miss Charlotte is an Education Director by trade, and a mom by heart. All 200+ of our DIY projects were created by Miss Charlotte, with the help of her expert DIY assistant—Her 4 year old daughter! With a MST degree in Early Childhood Education and 15 years of teaching experience, her blogs and DIY projects have been an incredible resource for our Playgarden Prep schools. We hope that your family loves them as much as we do!