The word “health” refers to a state of complete physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual well – being of a person. The first thing that most people ascribe to health is body health, but to fit the definition of health, all these states have to be functional; mental, physical, social, emotional and spiritual well – being.
On the global level, World Health Statistics (WHO) shows 10 – 20% adolescents experience mental health conditions. Breaking it down, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children in the United States between the ages of 3 to 17, constituting 7.1% of the population, have been diagnosed with anxiety. Sadly, the majority of them do not seek help.
A child’s early stages are critical to the growth and development levels for mental health. This further explains why the environment in which the child finds himself/herself also contributes to their makeup. The creativity level of children which is linked to mental health differs from one child to another. A typical model which highlights these discrepancies are the agents of socialization namely: family, school, religion and the society.
Mental health UK equates the physical health of children to their emotional being. This can further be explained thus: a child with a weaker emotional well-being is more likely to have ill health and vice versa.
Mentally healthy children have a positive quality of life and can function well at home, in school and in the society as a whole. Although it is impossible to eliminate anxiety and stress completely, there are approaches that would help your child minimize and improve their ability to cope with it and these are:
1. Encourage your child to have a balanced meal and a good sound sleep after completing the day’s work or assignment. When children perform or complete their daily routines such as working on an assignment, going for a class, etc. they tend to lose energy, when they have a balanced meal and sound sleep, they feel revitalized and energized. This can enable them to reduce stress and in the long run, generate better results.
2. Take good care of them
If parents can meet the basic and essential needs of their children, children would worry less. This can enable them to have a sound mind to study and learn. A child under the care of good, caring and loving parents tends to worry less, all other things being equal, as compared to a child whose parents are not loving and caring. Parents should therefore try as much to meet the essential basic needs of children to further prevent or reduce anxiety and stress.
3. Interaction with people
Isolation is not the best so having a good company of friends and relatives can massively help to reduce anxiety and stress in children. Children playing in the company of their friends and relatives tend to worry less about stress and anxiety. As parents, we can’t be everywhere with our child so you encourage them to build meaningful relationships with certain friends and leaders. Encouraging them to make friends does not only reduce potential stress but it also makes them confident as they are able to handle “early stage” friendship matters and issues.
4. Let them know their roles, duties and responsibilities
When children get familiar with their routine, it puts their mind at ease. Establishing your child’s roles and responsibilities can also help to reduce stress. Educate them that certain duties and tasks are beyond them and it is fine if not executed. Example is fixing the lightbulb in the living room. They shouldn’t worry their heads over certain duties that are beyond them.
5. Finding their creative prowess
What is your child’s creativity? What does he/she love doing in her free time? Encourage your child to explore their creativity. Common creativity practiced among children include; drawing, singing, coloring, listening to music, etc. Encourage them to do what makes them feel best.