Kids and Mental Wellness: Here's How to Get Started
By Genevieve Cunningham
Kids are some of the greatest things in our lives. They're fun and loving and full of life. For the most part, we treat kids like mini adults. We put their education first. We teach them to exercise and be involved in life. We teach them how to get along with others. But if there's one area where we seem to still be lacking when it comes to kids, it's definitely with their mental health. Today's kids are suffering more than ever before, and most people don't really understand how to help. If you have children and you want to set them up for a lifetime of good mental health, take a look at these tips to start teaching right away.
Teach Coping Mechanisms
Kids aren't born knowing how to deal with their many emotions. They have to be taught. If you scream and get angry when your emotions are on edge, your kids will too. But if you teach them to breathe deeply, count backward, or use another coping technique, then they're more likely to use these other means of dealing with their feelings. In the long run, this means they'll have better means of dealing with life's problems and a much better chance of keeping their mental health issues under control.
Involvement is important. You definitely don't want your kids to be over-involved, but you want them to learn how to love life. Involved kids become involved adults, and involvement in adulthood is absolutely crucial for good mental health. Introduce your kids to some activities and let them find their own interests. Sports, music, dance, nature. Get them involved with something they love, and give them the space to learn and grow.
You want your kids to be able to talk to you. Having a safe space to talk out your problems can be incredibly beneficial in staying mentally sound, especially as your kids get older. But that open communication starts right now when they're young. If your kid comes to you with a problem, listen. Don't immediately scold. Hear them out, no matter how small the issue. This will help your kids develop trust, which will be essential as they -- and their problems -- get bigger.
If there's anything that we should be teaching our kids, it's definitely how to take care of their mental health. This skill will serve them now as children, and it will most definitely serve them as adults. Use these tips to get your kids moving in the right direction, and enjoy the good that it brings to your whole family.
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