How to Teach Good Mental Health Practices to Young Children
Welcome to the Topic “How to Teach Good Mental Health Practices to Young Children”
Let’s have a conversation about the mental health of our young children. When children who are only toddlers scrape their knees, they understand that they have an injury that needs to be attended to. In similar manner, we have to create awareness about emotional and mental wellness in children
Some adults find it challenging to discuss mental health with children because they believe children shouldn’t know about it, they are afraid that it will cause the child to be upset, and they don’t know how to discuss it or appropriate mental health activities for toddlers, pre-schoolers and foundation stage program children, or they don’t know how to discuss it themselves.
However, beginning conversations about mental health with children at a young age can help them understand their own emotions, become more resilient, lessen the stigma surrounding mental well-being, and teach them how to care for themselves psychologically in addition to physically.
Why is teaching young children about mental health important?
Children will benefit from the following if you teach them about mental health tips:
- They are in tune with their own feelings.
- Recognize that their feelings are always deserving consideration.
- Express what they think and how they feel.
- Have a greater likelihood of enjoying good mental health in the years to come.
- As they develop, infants, toddlers, and young children acquire knowledge about their bodies, feelings, and place in the world. The healthy development of one’s mind is inextricably linked to one’s emotional maturation.
- At a young age, children begin to gain an understanding of human feelings and emotions. Even basic feelings like joy and fear are present in young children. Toddlers can better understand what emotions are and why they occur by participating in conversations about feelings with their elders.
Recognize how you and they feel throughout the day by naming emotions using simple words to demonstrate that their feelings are always valid. For example, you could say something like, “I see you’re angry,” or “I’m sad because I lost my glasses.” Encourage them to talk about how they are feeling rather than bottle up their feelings by letting them know that it is normal to experience a range of feelings depending on the circumstances.
Young children should emphasize their emotional development strongly because they can remember information and pick up behaviours quickly, which quickly, which will serve them well as they progress into adulthood.
Mental health activities to help your child learn about mental health
- Use emotion cards
When it comes to educating your toddler about the importance of maintaining a healthy mental state, it’s time to get creative with toddler mental health activities. One way to teach your child is by talking to them, but playing and interacting with them through games is often the most effective method.
According to the findings of various studies, children can gain numerous benefits through physically active play. For example, playing increases a child’s level of happiness and lowers the likelihood that they will suffer from anxiety.
One strategy consists of merely printing out or drawing cards that feature a variety of facial expressions, ranging from happy to sad. Show each face to your kid, and then ask them to tell you how they think the person is feeling.
These might include the following:
- Unhappy: a frown, often accompanied by tears
- Sad: a large frown, possibly with tears
- Furious, with the eyes drawn, teeth clenched together, and a flushed face.
- Thrilled – crack a smile
- Happy – wide, open smile
When you see someone with a worried or aggravated expression, seize the opportunity to talk about how you might be able to assist that person.
- Roleplay with their favorite toys
Playtime is very important to young children and presents a wonderful opportunity to teach them something new. As an activity for mental health, roleplaying is a great way to educate young children about the importance of maintaining a healthy mental state. This enables them to picture the situation engagingly and memorably.
For instance, you could pretend that their favorite teddy bear is upset or anxious by taking the teddy and putting yourself in the teddy’s shoes. Put yourself in your child’s shoes and have them act out how you would assist them. You could flip the situation and ask your child to act as though their toy is upset, then show them how you would comfort someone in that situation.
- Show the importance of self-care
Encourage your young child to engage in what is known as “self-care behaviours” whenever they have a stomach ache or fever. This could include communicating their concerns to you or another responsible adult, recognizing when they are in a situation that doesn’t make them feel good and finding a solution to the problem, or doing something that helps them feel better when they are upset, such as going outside or engaging in an activity that allows them to express their creativity.
This can be demonstrated in a meaningful way by designing mental health activities for toddlers that are centered on the concept of self-care. Some examples of such activities include allowing the child to choose their own outfit, engaging them in a game while they are bathing, or encouraging them to brush their toy’s teeth.
- Demonstrate how to deal with mental health at home
You can help your child become more aware of mental health challenges and show them how to cope with them at home by having regular conversations about mental health as if it were an everyday occurrence in their lives.
Teach them how to keep their minds as well as their bodies healthy, just as you teach them to eat their vegetables to keep their bodies healthy. There will be times when you are the one who is having a poor day. If you keep this a secret from your young child, they might get the impression that having a bad day isn’t typical.
Instead, demonstrate to your child how you handle challenging situations. You might tell your child that it’s normal for people to feel down on occasion, and that’s okay, but that you should always make an effort to feel better about yourself.
After that, you two might engage in an activity together, such as going for a walk or watching a movie. Explain to your young child that it helps you get through a difficult day when they see you overcoming challenges. Demonstrate to them that you are willing to invest your valuable time in them.
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