A child’s mental health is just as important as their physical health. For every scratch, bump, and bruise they encounter, they also go through emotional feelings that might impact their overall wellbeing – and those emotional injuries aren’t always apparent, sometimes even invisible entirely.
As a parent or guardian, it is up to you to ensure your child is supported and their wellbeing well looked after. That way, they can grow into an emotionally sound adult who has had the best start in life, enabling them to flourish as they mature.
Of course, ensuring a child’s wellbeing isn’t always the easiest feat, nor is it simple every day. With this in mind, read on to learn how to manage and improve a child’s wellbeing – whether they’re your own son or daughter, a family member, or a foster child in your care.
Build a Trusting Relationship
A trusting relationship between parent and child is crucial for the child’s wellbeing. When they trust you, they are more likely to open up about their emotions, which means you can help them through their problems – especially the extremely difficult ones.
With that being said, building trust can be more challenging for foster parents, as they haven’t been there since birth, and the child has likely gone through a traumatic experience. If you’re a foster parent (or an aspiring one), sites like fosteringpeople.co.uk have tons of information on child welfare and foster parent training designed to help you better connect with the kids in your care.
Teach Them How to Handle Stress
Stress happens, and that’s completely normal. There will be days when your child feels overwhelmed, sad, or angry – these are unavoidable parts of life. However, instead of punishing or brushing off those emotions, teach your child how to handle them.
This could include taking time out, letting off steam through physical activity (like sports), or talking through their feelings in an understanding manner that lets them get to the root of their stresses – to which you, as the adult, help them come up with a solution.
Provide a Good Routine
A good routine can work wonders for a child’s mental wellbeing. With a set routine, they know what to expect in a day.
Even if something bad has happened that day, such as arguing with a friend or performing poorly at school, they can always trust their routine to give them a sense of stability. They will know they can go home and spend time with their family the same way as usual, and that sense of normality and control will comfort them.
Focus on a Healthy Lifestyle
It is incredible just how much of an impact a healthy lifestyle has on your wellbeing – and your child’s. While a treat now and again is no bad thing, in general, you should make sure your child eats a healthy diet, sleeps well, and gets plenty of fresh air and exercise.
Encourage Fun and Play
A child who spends all of their time doing chores, homework, or being at school will not be as happy as one who can let their imagination run wild. Therefore, to improve your child’s wellbeing, you have to encourage plenty of fun and play.
You can even get involved! Kick a ball around the park, solve a jigsaw puzzle with them, or play a fun video game together. Those moments of fun and relaxation are just as important as the educational and character-building ones.
Look After Your Own Mental Health
It’s important for parents and guardians to look after their own mental health. Kids do as they see, after all, so if you prioritize your own wellbeing, they will learn to do the same.
Plus, when you are mentally well, you are more likely to do fun things with your child and be in an overall better mood, which means you’ll be giving your kid a happy and enjoyable childhood as a result.