Caring For Your Children'S Mental Health
How to help your children develop sound mental health.
Mental health consists of mind and behavior. The mind controls the behavior and subsequently, the behavior affects the mind. Both are closely linked and can't be separated. Behaviors can be seen and assessed by the parent. The behavior gives the clue as to how best the parent can guide the child to help her. Behaviors that are good and healthy are those that are age-appropriate. Smoking and tantrums from a young child are unhealthy in mind and behavior.
Mental health is very important for a child as it affects her present and future life. Mental health problems affect the education and social skills of the child. Parents do not cause ill mental health in the child directly. Inherited genes also do not cause mental disorders alone. The environment interacts with the genes, which then produces the state of mental health of the child. Parents can manipulate the child's environment to help in developing the child's well-being. The style of parenting determines the child's behavior.
The worst type of parenting is neglectful parenting with no warmth in the parent-child relationship and a subsequent lack of control over the child. Another type of parenting failure is the autocratic type with no warmth and tight control. A better type of parenting is a permissive style with warmth and less control over the kids. The best type is the authoritarian parent with control and warmth. The children grow up to become successful people.
Communication helps in bringing up a mentally healthy child. Let the child talk about her needs, feelings, friends and school. You will be able to assess her mental attitude by her disclosures. Mental fitness also comes from having sufficient sleep and time to do recreational activities. Too many activities cause stress and anxiety. This is bad for the child's mental health.
It is important to diagnose mental health problems. If your child's behavior causes you distress and eats up too much of your time, seek professional help. A trained pediatric psychiatrist can help. This professional interviews the parents, the child and other adults involved with the child. After the diagnosis, the necessary intervention is then mapped out. Parents need to know about the treatment and how the child is responding. Generally, it takes about 3 months to see any measurable changes in the child's behavior. If there's no improvement, seek a second opinion.
Fathers usually experience trouble communicating to the child. He is often the authoritarian, disciplinarian and thus seen as unapproachable. The father can try to improve his fatherly image by spending time with his child. He can then understand the problems and give the necessary guidance to help the child. Good mental health develops the child into a responsible adult with the social skills to make stable relationships, hold a good job and be a successful person in his / her own right.