With the school year starting again, parents are re-establishing household routines to keep their children on track. Providing nutritious meals, homework help and appropriate bedtimes are all excellent ways to help students thrive. But as important as those supports are, we sometimes forget to be intentional about tending to our children’s mental health. Here are three ways that mental health affects your child’s overall wellbeing.
How your children see themselves plays a huge role in how they interact with others and navigate through their world. If children feel capable and confident, they tend to conquer conflicts and duties with authority. Contrarily, it they feel unsure and insecure, they tend to be avoidant and unsuccessful, simply because they believe they aren’t good enough. Over time, self-image can directly influence how comfortably your child functions within society, as well as the personality your child eventually assumes as an adult. Fortunately, you still have time to help positively shape your child’s self-image. Click here for more info.
Children face more stress than we can imagine. Between growing pains, scholastic demands and modern social pressure, their stress levels can be unbearable. Because of this, it’s our job as parents to ensure our children aren’t shouldering more than they can handle. Stay in touch (as much as possible) with your children’s teachers, staff, coaches, and even their friends. But most important of all, conduct regular check-ins asking your children whether they feel capable of completing their daily workload. Lastly, if they seem to be struggling, ask if there’s anything you can do to help them be more successful.
The final mental health element that affects overall wellness is your child’s emotional state. Many factors play into the range of emotions that make up your child’s day. But you want to be on guard for patterns and extended bouts of sadness. Your little one may not come right out and let you know that something major is wrong. To uncover hidden emotions, ask probing questions to stay vigilant. If you suspect there is a problem, don’t hesitate to speak to your family pediatrician and the school’s psychiatrist.
This school year, equip your children with the necessary tools and outlets needed to be mentally successful. Additionally, make mental health check-ins a daily habit. Let your children know you are there to help and you are open to listen. Lastly, remember the importance of normalizing discussions about their self image, stress levels and emotions to help strengthen their overall wellbeing.