​Praise your child, encourage them to be independent and other parenting tips to improve your child's mental health!


Caring for your kid's health

Every parent wants happy, healthy kids. When it comes to our kid's health, we want to do whatever we can.

Regular exercise and eating right can help with your child's physical health, but what can you do to make sure they are just as fit mentally? We want our children to have good mental health.

Here are 14 parenting tips to boost your child's mental well-being!

1. Spend time together

Making time for your child will make them feel that they are important to you. Have fun while doing activities together like watching a movie or playing games that they enjoy.

2. Be attentive to what they say

Give your child your full attention and listen to them. Ask them about their friends, teachers and the activities they do i​n school to find out how they are coping. Offer them advice or help where appropriate.

3. Be generous with praise

Children are often reprimanded for bad behaviour but rarely praised for good behaviour. As a result, they may come to believe that they can never be good enough.

Praise your child whenever they have done a good deed no matter how small. This helps them feel good about themselves.

4. Discipline without labelling

When disciplining your child, avoid using words like lazy, naughty or stupid as such phrases do not reinforce what acceptable behaviour is.

Instead, correct your child's wrong behaviour by explaining why their action was inappropriate. Telling them that you love them but do not agree with their behaviour can make them more mindful of their actions.

5. Have realistic expectations

Avoid comparisons and do not make them feel like a failure when they do not do well. This will lower their morale and self-worth which may make them less eager to learn and less motivated to try their best. Instead, praise them for their efforts and discuss how to improve their performance step by step.

6. Teach your child to think positively

It is important to teach your child to be positive and remain optimistic when faced with difficulties. This helps to boost their self-esteem and self-confidence as well as help them recover from setbacks and failures, and continue to be motivated to work hard.

7. Focus on their strengths

Help your child explore their strengths. Encourage them to try different activities and hobbies. Explain to them that different people have different strengths and are good at different things, and they should be proud of what they are good at. Knowing their strengths is important for your child's mental well-being.

8. Teach your child to be independent

Another parenting tip - entrust your child with manageable tasks to complete by themselves. Praise them when they finish their tasks so they feel good about completing them. If they face troubles, acknowledge and support their efforts and tell them what they can do differently next time.

9. Encourage your child to build meaningful friendships

Encourage your child to make new friends at school, in the playground or during activities they do after school. Show that you care for their friends by inviting classmates to your house to get to know them better.

10. Encourage physical activity

Physical health and good mental health are strongly correlated. Encourage your child to get enough rest, drink enough water, eat right, exercise regularly and get some sunlight. These are all great ways to boost their energy, mood and mental health.​

11. Reduce stress together

Spend time with your child by engaging in relaxing and meaningful activities like exercising at a garden or a park. Round up family members and visit a museum together. Share a hobby like learning a musical instrument, writing, reading, listening to music, cooking or whatever interests them. You will also be improving your mental health!

12. Teach your child how to relax

Encourage your child to do something enjoyable to take their mind off their problems. It may be playing outdoors with friends or listening to music. You can also teach them to relax by getting them to close their eyes and think of happy thoughts – like a day by the beach or playing with friends.

13. Be a positive role model

Children and youths learn by watching their parents – even when they are older teens. If your child sees you using appropriate coping skills when you are under stress, they will learn from you. Show them that stress is normal and can be handled in a calm and effective manner, e.g. going for a jog. Happy parents, happy kids!

14. Share the secret of positive self-talk

Your child can be taught to talk to themselves positively. It can change the way they view the situation and help manage their feelings and behaviour. For example, “Relax! I don't need to get angry about it", “I am not going to let him bug me" and “I am ok".

Use the parenting tips above to boost your child's mental well-being! Remember that a healthy and happy child or teenager is able to concentrate well in school and face challenges better in life. They will also have higher immunity levels and fall sick less often.

Contributed by:
Health Hub