A majority of parents is capable of ensuring their children have good physical health. After all, physical health mainly involves giving your children nutritious meals, ensuring they exercise and maintaining their body cleanliness.
Mental health is not as straightforward as physical health is. This is because, in addition to the attention that physical health needs, mental health may need a higher degree of attention and the involvement of a professional. Just like adults, children have also suffered a great deal because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, their ability to come back to their normal selves depends on the help they get. The following are tips on how to support children’s mental health during the pandemic.
- Be a role model: As a parent or guardian, constantly talk to your child about your feelings, your fears, and insecurities and reveal how you cope with them. Do not express anger or anxiety during the conversation. This encourages the child to speak out about their issues too.
- Encourage their talents, hobbies, and skills: If your child has a hobby, support them through your finances and time where applicable. This gesture works to build the child’s self-confidence.
- Let the child know that everybody experiences pain, loss, anger, and fear and that he/she should accept these feelings because they are a part of life.
- A parent/guardian should give their children the opportunity to grow and develop. A child should be allowed to interact with friends and family freely. Through these interactions, the child is able to form a connection with someone whom they can talk to about private issues.
- Parents should not insist on physical punishment as a form of disciplining a child. Instead, think of discipline as a form of teaching where you lay your expectations. If the child surpasses your expectations, use rewards as a method of encouragement and if not, deny him/her some privileges.
- Take care of your child’s mental health just as you do their physical health. If you notice unusual behavior, talk to your child, and know what is bothering them. If you do not find a concrete solution, look for a professional’s advice.
To make their children tomorrow’s leaders, parents or guardians must make sure that the children are comfortable and enjoying their childhood. This includes supporting their children’s mental health at all times.