Tips to ensure your child’s mental well-being
By Koh Xin Jie Raiyi on 05/01/2023
(Source: ST PHOTO by CHONG JUN LIANG)
Your child’s mental health is an important component of their overall health. It has a complex interactive relationship with their physical health and ability to succeed in school, work, and society. Physical and mental health influence how we think, feel, and act inside and out. From prenatal considerations to adulthood, mental health is critical throughout childhood.
In our previous blog post, we share tips on how to look after your child’s mental health. It includes creating a safe space for them as well as leading by example. For this blog, we are going to share a few more tips to help you in managing your child’s mental health.
Watch for behavior shifts
We all know that children go through developmental changes that affect emotional expression and regulation and it is normal for them to demonstrate drastic differences as they thread through different stages of growing up.
However, as parents, we should still observe any change in the behavior of our child as it could be a warning sign of a mental health issue. Oftentimes a child might try to communicate that something’s wrong, but not verbally. They can display them through physical signs like:
- frequent stomach pain or headache
- disturbed sleeping or nightmares
- prolonged sadness
- unwarranted weight loss
- frequent outbursts
- poor academic performance.
If you notice any sudden behavioral changes, you can consider seeking professional help. There is nothing wrong with seeking expert advice to ensure that your child grows up healthily.
Start and encourage conversations
Mental health is a tricky topic to tackle, no matter how old your child is.
However, we should always encourage conversations where your child is able to openly share their feelings, similar to how they will share physical issues like falling down or having a cut on their knees.
The best ways to start conversations regarding mental health are to
- Share your feelings and challenges
- Demonstrate to them that it’s safe to talk about their own feelings and challenges
- Show that you want to hear more about the troubles they are facing
- Remind your child that they don’t need to be embarrassed and that everyone needs support in different ways.
- Before jumping to conclusions or offering advice, always ask their permission on how they would like you to respond.
The most important thing is to remind your child that you’re on their team, not against them. Making mental health a topic of conversation from a young age can help to encourage your children to prioritize it throughout their lives and build a healthy and prosperous future.
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Through an interactive story-based adventure, Prep Junior introduces children to food, various places of interest, and multicultural scenes; using fun and original illustrations that replicate real scenes in Singapore.