Good mental health is imperative for a child’s overall health and wellbeing.
So many parents are so concerned about keeping their children physically healthy, but they don’t always realize that their child’s mental health is just as important. Depression and anxiety don’t just impact adults. Kids can also experience these mood disorders and other psychological issues. From the office of our Berkeley and Oakland, CA, pediatricians Dr. Robin Winokur, Dr. Elizabeth Salsburg, and Dr. Nanci, here are some ways to foster and nurture good mental health in your children and teens.
Take Care of Yourself
Our kids mirror our actions and many times they follow what we do. So, just as maintaining good oral hygiene can help foster good oral habits in your child early on, prioritizing your mental health and wellbeing shows your child the importance of good mental health. Furthermore, this also creates a safe and nurturing environment for your child to share their own feelings and issues with you.
Nurture Their Self-Confidence
It’s important for kids to develop their own self-esteem and confidence in their skills and abilities, and it’s crucial that they have a supportive environment in which to do so. Provide your child with lots of praise and give them the freedom to discover and play. Help them set goals that are realistic and keep them excited and motivated about reaching these goals.
If your child makes a mistake or fails, it’s important to talk openly and honestly about their feelings and not to mask or ignore upset and other negative emotions. Your child should be able to share all of their emotions with you.
Creating Strong, Stable Relationships
We are social creatures and ensuring that your child has stable and healthy relationships throughout their childhood is important for their mental health. There are so many programs, sports groups, and activities designed for kids here in Berkeley and Oakland, CA, so there are countless outlets for kids to find friends even outside of school. Support and encourage these relationships.
If you are concerned about your child’s behaviors, attitude, or moods, it’s important to speak with your pediatrician as soon as possible. Call Kiwi Pediatrics in Berkeley, CA, at (510) 652-1720 or (510) 524-9400 to schedule an evaluation for you and your little one.