5 ways to promote children's mental well-being

We think mental health is not a topic for children, but think again at how much your child does today compared to how much you did as a child. Childhood is supposed to be a time when they are relaxed and free from the pressures of daily life ; but we see the opposite today. Children today go through plenty of stress and that is why it is crucial for us parents to ensure they are mentally healthy. Children who are mentally healthy handle stress well and don’t let their emotions overwhelm them. Starting these habits at preschool level helps as your child is old enough to put these traits into his personality.

Model

Ask yourself this: As parents, do you model good mental health habits? DO you manage your stress well? Do you get regular exercise, enough sleep and relaxation? This not only improves your mental health, it also sends a message out to your young children. Children learn what they live, so if you set these habits very early on in life, they will keep it for life.

Sleep

It cannot be stressed enough how important sleep is. If you are looking for that one building block of good mental health and wellbeing, it is sufficient sleep. Preschool children, teens and adults who are sleep deprived face many health problems – both mental and physical. Children need between 10 and 12 hours of sleep to grow well and to develop well. Teens need at least nine hours of sleep. If you want to see your children cope well in stressful situations, ensure they get enough sleep.

Exercise

When we were young, my grandma used to tell us to turn off the television and go out and play. She did not know that she was not only getting the intended physical activity going, but also promoting our mental health. Today, kids do not get enough exercise and this is not good for their mental health. Exercise is able to stimulate the chemicals in our body that improve mood and release the stress built up over the day. How much exercise does your child get?

Discuss your children’s activities with them and come up with a schedule you are both happy with.