One day a child I work with asked me if being healthy was more important than grades or grades were more important. Curious as to where such thought was coming from, I asked what his answer to that question would be and why the question. His response was of course, being healthy is more important and that the topic came up in his class among his classmates.
It has been discovered over time that a child’s physical and mental health cannot be separated as they are both crucial to a child’s wellbeing. Mental health has a direct impact on a child’s overall well-being and their ability to navigate through adolescence into adulthood.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects the way we think, feel, and act. It helps to determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
Research shows that around 1 in 5 of the world’s children are living with a mental health disorder or disability. These struggles often develop early in life and can be caused by abuse, neglect, abandonment, and trauma – SOS Children’s Villages.
Young Minds Wise Up- Prioritizing wellbeing in schools 2017 Report shows that 80% of young people surveyed said that exam pressure had a big impact on their mental health, while 96% said that exams pressure affected their mental health.
According to the Good Childhood Report 2013 of the Children’s Society and the University of York, 1 in 10 Primary school children say they suffer from a low sense of wellbeing.
Every October 10th is designated as Word Mental Healthy Day to create public awareness. This year’s campaign slogan is: Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality.
According to YoungMinds and EduCare, one in three mental health problems in adulthood stem from adverse experiences in childhood – including abuse, neglect, bereavement or taking on adult responsibilities at a young age.
These experiences can result in psychological trauma, which can have a lasting effect on the way children behaves, processes their emotions, and manages their relationships with others, as well as their overall development.
As we mark this year’s World Mental Health awareness day, the question is how can you make mental health care a reality for yourself and the child/ren in your care?
As parents, there’s the need to be mindful of how ‘much’ we lay emphasis on exams and grades. I am an advocate of a gradual and consistent support for a continuous and healthy studying habit. Our children’s physical and mental health is more important that the grades they bag from school. In as much as these grades are very important, life and wellbeing are more than just grades.
Research shows that more children and young people have problems with their mental health today than 30 years ago. That’s probably due to changes in the way we live now, Covid-19 challenges, and how all these affects growing up. Hence as your children experience these challenges daily, don’t leave them to deal with it by themselves. Get involved.
Here are 10 top tips to strengthen children’s mental wellbeing:
1. Talk about mental health with your child. Life can be challenging, and we all struggle to cope sometimes. Having a supportive, non-judgmental conversation with your child about mental health is always a good idea. It could make all the difference and be the first step towards getting help. However, how you talk about it matters a lot. This leads to tip #2
2. Build strong connection with your child. It is important for parents to have a warm, open relationship with their children so that they can be comfortable to talk to you if they are troubled.
3. Listen to our child’s concern. It may not make sense but just give a listening ear.
4. Show them love and affection. They may want a hug; they may want you to help them change something or they may want you to just be present at their school events.
5. Exercise self-care and fill up your own emotional cup as much as possible. Be calm, handle concerns with maturity, and seek professional help – it takes a village to raise a child; and pray for and with them.
6. Play with your children. It’s important for parents to devote and spend some play time with their children because it is by so doing that you can discover unacceptable behaviors and utilize teachable moments.
7. Ensure a quite time away from the TV, computer, cell phone and other devices.
8. Encourage routines. Being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise are crucial.
9. Being interested in life and having opportunities to embrace meaningful living is key.
10. Sleep is a superpower.
With children’s wellbeing at the heart of what I do, I offer hands-on, practical, and measurable solutions to everyday challenges children may be facing before they spiral out of control, with play as our language.
This preventive approach enables us at Equipping the Child Studio, to focus on the present moment as we inspire, motivate, and ignite the potentials of the children in our programs. Kids life coaching prevents childhood challenges from impacting on the child’s later teen and adult life. Find out more about our packages and how we can support your child by contacting us on email@example.com.
Certified Kids Life Coach, Founder – Equipping The Child Studio