Maintaining Your Child's Mental Health at Home
By Brandi Goodman
All Florida schools are cancelled through the rest of the year. This means your children are at home, away from their friends and routine, and having to do school work online if they can. Your children's mental health can suffer greatly at a time like this. You need to do what you can to maintain your child's mental health and overall well-being.
Encourage Communication With Friends
Just because your children cannot see their friends at school does not mean they can't communicate with them at all. See about setting up an online meeting between your child and his or her classmates. Some schools have offered the possibility already with virtual meetings held through apps such as Zoom and Google Meet. They'll be able to see each other face-to-face and speak. It may lift their spirits to still be able to talk with the friend they're missing.
Listen to Their Feelings
An older child may express their feelings to you. Listen. Don't talk over them. Don't tell them they're fine and their worries don't matter. Simply listen and allow them to air any frustrations they may have. Doing so can help them release some stress off their shoulders and let them know you have their back. Reassure them that their feelings are valid but that things will get better.
Ensure Exercise and Healthy Eating
Both exercise and healthy eating can help with mental health. Eating junk food all day is a surefire way to reach a mental decline. It can make it hard to concentrate. It can lead to weight gain. You need to provide healthy meals and snacks that will keep your child's mind and body healthy and operating at its full function. Exercise can also release endorphins which will bring about good feelings.
Set Aside Family Time
It can be difficult to have family time when you're still working, or working from home, while your child is there with schoolwork to do. You may feel overwhelmed with all you have to accomplish in a day. However, it's important that you set aside family time and spend what you can with your kids. They need to know they're important and loved. Watch a movie together. Get outside and play a game. Do a puzzle. Just one thing each day can mean a lot to a child and give the two (or more) of you the bonding time you need.
Your child's mental health is what matters most during this time. Don't stress so much about school work and make sure you're doing what you can to keep them happy and healthy. Communication between you and them, as well from their friends and other family members, is especially important.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pace, Fla.