Children’s Mental Health: Part 1

This is part one of several giving some very basic general guidelines and information about the mental health of children.

To understand and provide well for the child’s optimal mental health the parent should:

  • be able to provide unconditional love and ensure it from family members
  • teach the child self confidence
  • engender high self esteem standards
  • spending as much time as possible with the child
  • encourage social interaction and growth
  • encourage the child to accept guidance and encouragement, from parents, teachers, etc
  • encourage the child to accept personal discipline and that from parents and others

From this the child will be comfortable in knowing how to extend the same to others. They will be able to make all the various choices needed for optimal mental health growth. It will help the child to identify safe and secure surrounding in which to interact with others.


Self Worth is part of Mental Health

One of the main contributions a parent can make to developing this in a child’s growing process and mental health. Is to ensure there is a positive nurturing style using love, care and respect. This is the basis of creating a confident and sociable child.

Teach a child to look at them self and learn to accept and like what they see. This is the first step along the road to learning confidence.

It is sometimes difficult to 'make' a child understand how important it is to accept themself. Parents need to help them only choose positive improvements. To make should they understand there is a need for changes. And that it is part of the nurturing process provided for by the parent.

It is important to take the time to reinforce the desire to build a strong self confidence attitude in the child. Do this with a lot of positive comments and encouragements.

From as early as the infancy stage, the little one will be able to perceive its self worth. From the responses given by parents to its various cries.

It is this attention whenever the baby cries out for it, that starts building confidence. At this point the baby does not realise the implications to its mental growth. It enjoys the attention.

Children soon catch on to this as they learn how to do things according to what is acceptable. They enjoy the resulting positive nurturing and praise. This will help to build their confidence levels.


What Is Different? Recognising Change

There are several mental health benefits in being able to identify these changes. The ability to read into the changes is important. Sometimes it is the only means a parent has available to assist in how to tackle a particular situation.

Experts agree that a child's behaviour is formed by linking smaller ones together. This applies to good and poor behaviours

Helping a child to identify the behavioural pattern is important. It can be reinforced if it is a positive behaviour. As the parent can give the correct responses to the child. If it is an undesirable behaviour the parent can provide guidance toward a better one

To understand the child the parent will need to observe their various reactions and emotions. This will usually show the child’s thought processes of its needs. The parent will have a better understanding or what starts a negative behaviour. (Or a positive one). They can help the child develop strategies to enhance or reduce the behaviour.

Children learn to use the parent as a role model. They observe the parents’ different reactions and behavioural patterns. And in some cases choose to imitate these with as much similarities as possible.

So the parent should be very careful in how they display their own behavioural patterns. They should be aware of their children’s capabilities of copying such displays.

Through these observations the parent will be able to cope with different variants:

  • such as a strong will child
  • a child that needs to be competitive always
  • a child that needs a lot of encouragement
Man sitting with child for mental health

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