By Pinky Daga
Stress, tension, physical pain and trauma are words we use very loosely today. Blame the excessive media exposure or unhealthy rat race, our kids grow up under immense pressure. This somewhere explains the shocking rise in cases of teenage depression, youth suicides and childhood traumas.
When we raise kids, we need to be sure about what they hear from us and how this shapes their mindsets. That is precisely why promoting your kid’s mental health is very important. Here are a few ways to promote children’s mental health and wellness:
There was never a day in our childhood when we didn’t play outdoors. Things, however, have changed for our kids today. Be it their indulgence in video games or their fondness for gadgets, playing outdoors is more or less a foreign concept for them. But that’s why you must push them to go for it.
Studies have found that five minutes of exercise in a natural outdoor environment can improve self-esteem and mental wellbeing of young people. Encouraging your children to play outdoors helps them de-stress and lowers anxiety.
There is no healer better than a mother’s lap and a father’s hug. One way to promote your child’s mental health is to spend quality family time. Hug your child often as it helps in building their trust in you.
As a practice, I meditate with my children. The earlier your kids start practicing meditation, the better it is for them. Meditation plays a pivotal role in shaping a child’s personality and keeping them calm.
We all need one person who can listen to what you say and not judge you for what you think. For a child, a parent needs to be that person. Kids should know that their parents are always around to guide them. Give them adequate time and communicate what you feel. Always make it a point to listen to them and not dismiss their belief in certain things.
Kids also need adequate rest. Yes, you must inculcate a good sleep routine as a practice. Tell them why it is important to relax and sleep in peace without getting hooked to the screen. You could do this by:
1. Limiting gadget time.
2. Promote reading before sleeping.
3. Inculcate the habit of praying or meditating right before they get to bed.
(The author is CEO, Thriive Art & Soul)
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