Every year on November 14th, India celebrates Children’s Day to promote awareness of children’s rights, education, and welfare. One of today’s top priorities is mental health. If young people and children in a developing nation like India are prone to mental health issues, it could have a long-lasting impact on them. Children in India who have mental health illnesses are frequently left undetected and reluctant to seek assistance or therapy. Even before the pandemic, at least 50 million Indian children suffered from mental health problems, and 80–90% of them did not seek help, according to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry in 2019. Therefore, it’s vital to take care of your child’s mental health. (Also read: Early warning signs and symptoms of mental health issues in children )
In an interview with HT lifestyle, Nidhi Tiwari, Child Psychologist, shared tips to take care of your child’s mental health.
1. Acknowledge their feelings
Instead of telling kids how to feel, encourage them to express their thoughts and emotions about what is occurring to them or around them. Remind your child it’s okay to have sad days. Help them feel comfortable talking about it and putting their feelings into words.
2. Create a safe space
Make your home a place where your child feels welcomed and loved. Setting up a secure atmosphere for kids to interact with their parents is crucial. It aids the child’s development of emotional stability.
3. Give them a break
Many times school, studies and exams can take a toll on your child’s mental health. Therefore, it’s important to give them a break. Check in with your child when they feel overwhelmed and need a break. During that time encourage them to focus on their interest and activities that they enjoy doing. Shine a light on your child’s talents and abilities.
4. Digital Detox
In today’s time, social media has a huge impact on your child’s well-being and mental health. Familiarise yourself with social media platforms and have conversations with your children about the pros and cons of social media from an early age. Go on digital detox with your child for at least two days a week.
5. Meditation and yoga
Teach your child simple coping skills such as meditation, yoga, exercise, journaling etc. Focus on the positive and teach your child about the git of gratitude. With meditation and yoga, your children will learn the importance of mindfulness.
6. Active listening
Pay attention to what they tell you about their feelings/wishes regarding an event or a person. Try to understand why they feel that way and where they are coming from. Believe them for the information they have shared with you and accept the difficulty they are facing no matter how small or trivial it sounds to you. It is big for them.