Saturday, 20 May 2017

Good mental health habits for kids

These days we are constantly hearing about mental health in the media, everything from positive initiatives to the lack of funding for mental health services and more often than not the emphasis tends to be on the lack of funding, poor services and the increasing number of people experiencing mental health difficulties. We here at Celbridge Playzone seek to take a holistic approach to children and child development and as we strive to be more than your average family play centre we have found the top six ways you can help your children keep mentally well and although it might seem unusual to be focusing on a young child’s mental health, laying the foundations for positive mental health at a young age may make a huge difference later in life.

Ensuring that your children have good mental health doesn’t mean that they will never experience worry or upset but rather they will be in a position to deal with these emotions and overcome them, preparing them better for whatever life may have in store for them in the future.

Here are the top six ways to promote good mental health in your children.

Look after your own mental health
Many adults find themselves living stressful and busy lives and some may even find themselves getting bogged down by the stress experienced throughout everyday life. It is important that before being able to look after your child’s mental health you must be actively looking at ways to look after your own mental health and control stress. Children learn from their parents so living a life, which promotes mental health, will have a positive effect on your children, making them aware of the importance of looking after your mental health.

Sleep is an essential aspect for ensuring positive mental health, both for adults and for children. Ensuring your child has positive mental health means ensuring that they get enough sleep. Ensuring children get between 10 and 12 hours sleep will enable proper growth and development and ensure they are well rested, allowing them to deal with challenges to the best of their ability.

Exercise does more than just ensure physical health but it also has a significant positive impact on your mental health. With exercise encouraging the production of hormones such as serotonin, which helps tackle depression and low mood, it is important that your child is getting a minimum of an hours exercise a day. A trip to someone like Playzone on a rainy day can help with this as children don’t exercise like adults a trip to Playzone can ensure children can get healthy exercise through play.

Creative Outlets
All children should be encouraged to get creative as it encourages them to find new ways of expressing themselves. Not only does creativity allow children to explore different outlets for emotions but it also encourages them to engage in activities mindfully, focusing on the here and now, allowing children to move away from the stress and worries associated with everyday life. Finding hobbies such as art and sports also allows this to happen.

As parents we worry about our children, we want to spend time with them everyday and ensure they are well looked after, we want our children to feel loved and cared for so when it comes to accepting that children of all ages need time and space of their own it can be hard. Children of all ages can benefit in some way of having their own down time, time to allow their thoughts to wander and to explore their own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Just like adults children too need their own space in order to relax.

We always hear about the benefits of talking when it comes to look after our mental health and this doesn’t just apply to adults but it is essential for children too. Some kids bottle up what is going on inside as they feel they cannot talk about things or indeed may not have the ability to express their emotions which is why from a young age it is essential to encourage talking and questioning why a person may be experiencing such feelings. Some children may not be able to verbally communicate their worries or concerns so engaging in creative methods can also be useful.

Mental health is an essential part of our lives and is something, which needs to be, valued the same as physical health. We here at Celbridge Playzone we recognize the importance of mental health and it is for that very reason that we seek to take a holistic approach to child development but also to give parents the tools necessary to help ensure their children can begin to lay the foundations of positive mental health.

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