It might come as a surprise to you but you need to be aware of and take care of your child’s mental health needs too. Adults often feel that kids do not have the same stress as they do and therefore aren’t sensitive to their needs, this can be a contributing factor to child suicide. It is a devastating blow to find that a child has commited suicide because their families and carers were not aware or managed early signs of depression properly. It is extremely worrying to realise how common a child can feel anxiety or depression to the point where they consider ending their own life.
Children are at risk of depression and anxiety just as much as adults are, if not more. This is because children are unable to self-regulate or assess their emotions, nor are they able to self-soothe as well as adults can because they simply lack the experience or capability to articulate their needs. Furthermore, we are now approaching a new age of data whereby young children have access to the internet and social media where they might experience negative situations such as comparing their lives to others or being targeted for bullying on the platform. Therefore, parents should take extra care and be conscious about their child’s mental health being through supervision of their activities or mitigating negative behaviours by giving them a productive outlet.
Mental health day
It is a rising trend for employees to take a mental health day just to recharge, but should it be something that children are afforded as well? According to Forbes, the answer is not as simple as we think. First of all, it depends on the child. Most children are stronger than adults and perhaps that is one of the devastating reasons why adults tend to overlook their mental health. However, psychologists have noticed that mental health days were doing more harm than good for certain children. Therefore, it really depends. If your child can benefit from taking a day off from school, not to escape a test he didn’t study for or because he is especially anxious about doing a presentation, but because he is becoming despondent and withdrawn. When you notice your child no longer able to cope with what is happening at school, you should both take an off day and try to find a practical solution together. They should not be given mental health days just so they can binge watch tv, sleep all day or having a fun day with you. It should be about self reflection and an opportunity for problem solving. This is so that it doesn’t send the wrong message to your child.
Giving them a creative outlet
Some children are so tied up in their academics that they become as stressed as working adults. The pressure to perform well is another key factor in your child’s mental health. Remedy this by allowing them an outlet to simply be kids or channel their energy into something productive. Enroll them in creative writing classes primary school or let them paint or do some other form of arts and crafts. Creating is a necessary energy in your child’s life and the ability to make something from scratch is both rewarding and healing.