There is a very apt article in the Harvard Health by Claire Mc Carthy in the issue of the March 8 2022 on Mental Health for Children. It talks about the pandemic and its effects that are being seen a few years in. Whilst it has killed thousands of people it has had a number of secondary impacts on society all around the world such as social isolation, cutting parents and children out of work and schools respectively etc. The issue talks about the impact it has had greatly on young children’s mental health and wellbeing.

The issue makes a very important point on the mental health and well-being to be just as important as physical well-being. In children assessing mental well-being can be a challenge because if a child is irritable and socially withdrawn it is usually put down to them going through a phase in life or we tend to think it is something that will pass. The issue talks about mental health well-being to be directly related to physical health and how untreated mental health problems can interfere with learning, socialization, self-esteem, and other important aspects of child development that can last a long time.

Parents can play an important role in the well-being of their children’s health and some of the things one can follow to manage the situation are (a few to list):

  • Having good communication within the family and having some family rituals like eating and talking about your day at afternoon tea or dinner is a good start
  • Making sure the children have free play and young adolescents have down time. So basically time to unwind is key
  • Having rules about exposure to tablets, phones etc. Children need to learn to take a break for themselves from social media especially the teenagers. Having ground rules on when phones are to be used and having time limits on their usage can help
  • Making sure there is enough rest and relaxation time for the children. Their sleep is very important even when they are in their teens and parents can ensure their children have good sleep routines
  • Ensuring teenage children have other avenues of support be it teachers, coaches, extended family etc. Someone they can confide in and can go to when they need to debrief
  • Be a good example to them. Children learn by observing, so if they see you looking after your health they will generally follow your lead

A lot of the points go hand in hand and are great to come back to when we are lost for answers. Just being parents that listen, are empathetic and supportive of their children’s choices is enough.

Call Now Button