MENTAL HEALTH: WHAT EVERY CHILD NEEDS FOR GOOD MENTAL HEALTH
is easy for parents to identify their child's physical needs: lots
of good food, warm clothes when it's cold, bedtime at a reasonable
hour. However, a child's mental and emotional needs may not be as
obvious. Good mental health allows your youngster to think clearly,
to develop socially and to learn new skills. Additionally, suitable
playmates, encouraging words from adults and guidelines for behavior
are all important for helping your child develop self-confidence,
high self-esteem, and a healthy emotional outlook on life.
child's physical and mental health are both important.
for a child's good physical health:
shelter and sleep
for a child's good mental health:
love from family
Self-confidence and high self-esteem
The opportunity to play with other children
Encouraging teachers and supportive caretakers
Safe and secure surroundings
guidance and discipline
Give Your Child Unconditional Love
security and acceptance should be at the heart of family life. Your
child needs to know that your love does not depend on his or her
accomplishments. Mistakes and/or defeats should be expected and
accepted. Confidence grows in a home that is full of unconditional
love and affection.
Your Child's Confidence and Self-Esteem
Your Child. Encouraging your child's first steps or his or her
ability to learn a new game helps your child develop a desire
to explore and learn about his or her surroundings. Allow your
child to explore and play in a safe area where they cannot get
hurt. Assure your child by smiling and talking to him or her
often. Be an active participant in your child's activities.
Your attention helps build his or her self-confidence and self-esteem.
Realistic Goals. Young children need realistic goals that match
their ambitions with their abilities. With your help, older
children can choose activities that test their abilities and
increase their self-confidence.
Honest. Do not hide your failures from your children. It is
important for youngsters to know that we all make mistakes.
It can be very reassuring to know that Mom and Dad are not perfect.
Sarcastic Remarks. If your child loses a game or fails a test,
try to find out how he or she feels about the situation. Your
youngster may be discouraged and need a pep talk. Later, when
your child is ready, talk about a new way to play the game or
your child. Not only to strive to do his or her best, but also
to enjoy the process. Trying new activities teaches children
about teamwork, self-esteem and new skills.