This week is Children’s Mental Health Week and charity *Place2Be are raising awareness of the importance of children and young people’s mental health and their theme this year is Let’s Connect.
Making connections with our children on a daily basis is how we can help to manage and teach our children good mental health habits.
We’ve looked at some ways you can build connections every day to keep your little ones feeling their best.
Children learn through play. Play improves almost every aspect of a child’s well-being, from physical play to social skills. It also improves emotional well-being as children learn about themselves and their feelings. Playing games together or with toys, can help your child to build confidence in their abilities. It also is a great time for you both to be silly and have fun, forging strong bonds for the future.
Reading to your child from a young age promotes many significant benefits. Reading boosts imagination and creativity as well as helping to relax, reassure and comfort your child. When you read to them, you are giving them your full attention, which tells them they are important to you.
Being in nature has many advantages for children. Evidence found from the work at **Mental Health Foundation tells us, connecting with nature is critical. Nature can generate many positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, and creativity and can facilitate concentration. Children are curious and explore nature through every sense. This is a great opportunity to talk, guide and show our children the wonderful world around them.
Talk, talk and talk some more. Even if your child is not verbal yet, talking to your child means not only will they learn language skills, they will also pick up on tone and this helps them with emotional development. Our tone can depict positive and negative feelings, so be sure to use your voice intentionally and with your child’s needs at the center.
From the moment, our little ones are born they are watching us and this can shape how they view relationships, emotions and the world around them. Positive interactions with family, friends and anyone we encounter is important to good mental health. How we regulate our emotions and put right our mistakes is also key in guiding young children. Practicing what we preach is easily said than done, however, striving for a healthy lifestyle and mental health would be the best start you could give your child.
We hope these tips help to give you the confidence in building good mental health habits for the next generation.
*Place2Be charity - https://www.place2be.org.uk/
**Mental Health Foundation - https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk