Children and Mental Health – Introduction
Parents can handle the physical needs of their children without difficulty – things such as nutritious food, warm clothes in the cold, and moderate bedtime hours. They can hopefully control the amount of television and online time too. However, the intellectual and emotional needs of the child are not so obvious now. The zone of truthful thinking allows teens to make clear assumptions, develop socially, and reflect on new skills. Plus, encouraging words from good friends and adults (teachers, etc.) are very important in helping teens build self-confidence and a healthy outlook on life.
Children’s Mental Health Fundamentals:
- Unconditional family love.
- Self-confidence and high self-esteem.
- The opportunity to play with other children.
- Encouragement from teachers and supportive carers/childminders
- Safe environment.
- Appropriate guidance and discipline
2. Nurture children’s confidence and self-esteem.
2.1. Praise Them: Persuade children to increase their confidence by taking the initiative. Allow the same children to explore and play in a safe place that will not harm them. Make sure you smile and talk to them often, encouraging them, no matter how small or insignificant the achievement might be. Try and take time out to play an active part in their activities. Their focus will really help to build their self-confidence and self-esteem.
2.2. Set Realistic Goals: A child needs realistic goals that match their ambitions and abilities. With your help, older children can test their skills and choose activities that boost their self-esteem.
2.3. Avoid Sarcastic Remarks: If your child loses at a sport or fails the test, find out what they thought of that experience. Children often experience disappointment, and they have a need or desire to be encouraged. When they are ready and have got past that disappointment, speak about it later.
2.4. Provide a safe and secure home: Sometimes, kids can get quite scared. It seems that everyone is afraid of something at some point in their life. Fear and anxiety stem from experiences that we perhaps do not understand. If children have worries or concerns that they cannot escape from that affect their behaviour, the first step is to pay attention to what scares them.
3. Signs Of Fear in Children
Nervousness, shyness, withdrawal and aggressive behaviour can already be signs of stress in childhood. Changes in diet and sleep behaviour can also indicate an unhealthy fear. Children who pretend to be ill or suffer from daily anxiety may have attention issues. School anxiety can arise after a stressful event like moving to a new location, moving to a special school, or an uncomfortable school incident. After a period at home due to illness, children may become reluctant to go back to school.
4. Warning Signs
The following signs may indicate that professional help or assessment is needed.
• Poor school performance
• Despite hard work, they get poor grades
• Frequent worry and fear
• Repeatedly refusing to go to high school or participate in regular children’s activities
• Hyperactivity disorder or restlessness
• Permanent disobedience or aggression
• Common tantrums
• Depression, sadness, or irritability
5. Special mental illnesses
- ADHD – attentional problems
- Bipolar Disorder – depression and high energy
- Conduct Disorder – behavioural problems
- Depression – sadness
- Grief – coping with loss (of a pet, for example)
- Mental illness-hearing a sound or seeing something that doesn’t exist
- Suicide – thoughts of death/dying
- Substance use – drinking and using drugs
6. How are children’s mental illnesses treated?
Common treatment options for children with mental illness:
6.1. Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, additionally referred to as discussion therapy or behavioural therapy, is an approach to fixing psychological problems through talking to a psychologist or a different psychiatrist.
6.2. Medication: Your child’s doctor or psychologist might also recommend medicinal drugs such as stimulants, antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, and temper stabilizers as part of your remedy plan.
If you feel that your child, teenager, or partner is suffering mentally, I can help.
I am an experienced Personal Crisis Practitioner™. I offer a totally FREE non-judgmental call, where I can discover what is affecting them and advise on the best way to treat and overcome it.
The free call might be all you need to get to the root of the problems – and it often helps a child if they can talk to someone they don’t know.
Contact me today.