Most parents find it easier to identify a child’s physical needs – balanced and nutritious meals; adequate shelter and clothing; sufficient rest and physical activity; medical care; and a safe living environment. However, a child’s mental and emotional needs may not be as obvious. Good mental health allows a child to think clearly and learn; develop and maintain a healthy self-esteem and social life, and a positive attitude and outlook.
The following are…
What Children Need for Good Mental Health:
- Give children unconditional love that is not based on their accomplishments.
- Nurture children’s confidence and self-esteem through sincere praise, encouragement, words of affirmation, and setting realistic goals.
- Encourage children to play by using creativity and developing problem-solving skills and self-control.
- Enroll children in activities which help them gain self-esteem, learn, stay productive, get exercise, and have fun.
- Provide a safe and secure environment with age appropriate activities; be loving, patient, reassuring, and communicative.
- Give appropriate guidance and discipline when necessary; be firm, kind, and realistic with your expectations; and help your child learn self-control.
- Check in on children after school has ended if they’re home alone.
- Communicate effectively with empathy, respect, and openness.
- Get professional help if you’re concerned about your child’s mental health.
For more details visit: http://www.nmha.org