Is your child acting differently lately? Are you noticing changes in their behaviour, emotions, or social interactions that have you concerned? Children, like adults, can also experience mental health challenges. In this blog, we’ll explore some crucial signs to watch for in mental health in children and offer guidance on how to support them effectively.
Why is Children’s Mental Health Important?
Children’s mental health is a vital aspect of their overall well-being. Just like physical health, mental health plays a significant role in a child’s ability to learn, grow, and thrive. Recognizing and addressing mental health issues early can make a profound difference in a child’s life. Here are some signs to look out for:
1. Changes in Behavior:
If you’ve noticed sudden or dramatic changes in your child’s behaviour, such as increased irritability, aggression, withdrawal, or excessive fearfulness, these may be signs of underlying mental health issues.
2. Emotional Distress:
Pay attention to your child’s emotional well-being. Are they frequently sad, anxious, or excessively moody? Do they express feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness?
3. Changes in Sleep Patterns:
Disruptions in sleep, such as trouble falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, or experiencing nightmares, can indicate emotional distress.
4. Difficulty Concentrating:
If your child is having trouble focusing, completing tasks, or experiencing a significant decline in academic performance, this might be a sign of a mental health issue.
5. Physical Complaints:
Some children may express emotional distress through physical complaints like headaches, stomachaches, or other unexplained pains.
6. Social Withdrawal:
If your child is avoiding social interactions, losing interest in activities they once enjoyed, or having trouble making friends, it could be a sign of social and emotional challenges.
Also check : 10 Proven Activities For Brain Development Of Child
Techniques to Support Mental Health in children
1. Open and Supportive Communication:
Effective communication is crucial for understanding and addressing mental health in children. Create an environment where your child feels comfortable talking about their thoughts and feelings without judgement. Encourage them to express themselves openly. Listen actively to what they say, validate their emotions, and avoid dismissing their concerns.
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2. Active Listening:
Active listening involves giving your full attention to your child when they’re talking. Maintain eye contact, nod in acknowledgment, and ask open-ended questions to encourage them to share more. Reflect back what you’ve heard to ensure you understand their feelings and thoughts. This demonstrates that you value their perspective.
3. Establish Consistent Routines:
Children thrive on predictability and routine. Establish consistent daily routines for activities like meals, bedtime, and study time. Having a structured schedule can provide a sense of stability and security, which can reduce anxiety and stress.
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4. Promote Physical Health:
Physical and mental health in children are closely connected. Encourage your child to engage in regular physical activity. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Ensure they have a balanced diet rich in nutrients like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Adequate sleep is also essential for mental well-being, so establish a bedtime routine that allows for sufficient rest.
5. Limit Screen Time:
Excessive screen time, especially on social media, can contribute to stress and anxiety in children. Set reasonable limits on screen time and ensure that the content they consume is age-appropriate and positive. Encourage outdoor play and face-to-face interactions to balance screen-related activities.
6. Teach Coping Strategies:
Teach your child healthy ways to cope with stress and difficult emotions. Breathing exercises, mindfulness, and meditation techniques can help them manage anxiety. Encourage them to engage in hobbies they enjoy, such as art, sports, or music, as creative outlets can be therapeutic. Help them understand that it’s okay to ask for help when they’re struggling.
7. Seek Professional Help When Needed:
If you observe persistent signs of mental health challenges in your child, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Mental health professionals who specialise in working with children, such as child psychologists or child psychiatrists, can provide assessments and guidance. They can offer therapy or counselling tailored to your child’s specific needs. Early intervention can be instrumental in addressing mental health issues effectively.
7 foods THAT HELP IN HEALTHY BRAIN DEVELOPMENT
Ashwagandha has a strong affinity for GABA receptors. As a result, Ashwagandha can be used to treat Autism symptoms such as eye contact, memory loss, anxiety, and attention deficit.
Brahmi is a brain superfood that is believed to sharpen the brain by protecting cells and increasing chemicals involved in learning and memory. It acts on the CNS, where it improves grasping power, eye contact, memory, intellect, and speech, as well as correcting emotional, mood, and personality aberrations in an individual.
Also, check BENEFITS OF BRAHMI IN BRAIN DEVELOPMENT.
In order to improve brain functioning, shankhapushpi is an old remedy. The powerful antioxidants and flavonoids present in it improve the memory capacity, focus, concentration, calmness, alertness of an individual. Since it is a brain tonic and stimulator, people taking shankhapushpi have improved autism features like eye contact, memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and other cognitive abilities.
Protein is an essential component of a healthy diet. It helps to build, maintain, and repair body tissues. It is also necessary for brain health and plays an important role in neurotransmitter production (brain chemical). G protein also regulates cellular signalling and is essential for retinoid receptor function, laying the groundwork for healthy visual processing.
OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS:
There is a link between omega 3 fatty acids and early childhood brain development, according to research. These healthy fats have incredible brain-boosting properties and play an important role in improving autism features like eye contact, memory, and attention span. Fish and walnuts are excellent sources of omega 3.
Also, check Omega-3 rich foods for kids
Magnesium is responsible for nerve transmission and nerve-muscle coordination in our bodies. In other words, it guards against a child’s excessive excitement (which can be traumatic). It also increases the effectiveness of vitamin B, which is important in the production of enzymes required by the brain. It may improve eye contact and reduce behavioral issues.
Zinc is a mineral that our bodies require in trace amounts. Because our bodies do not store zinc, we must consume small amounts of it on a regular basis to maintain our health. It is required for proper brain development and function, immune function, protein synthesis, and wound healing.
All nuts, including almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, and hazelnuts, are high in vitamin E and aid in memory enhancement. They are also antioxidants that protect cells from damage. Walnuts are high in omega 3 fatty acids and are beneficial to eye contact, brain function, memory, and cognitive abilities. This fatty acid is also beneficial to cognitive functions.
Also check, Other benefits of nuts and seeds.
Aside from nuts, seeds such as flax, chia, melon, sesame, and pumpkins contain potent antioxidants such as vitamin E, which protect the brain from free radical damage. Sunflower seeds have an effect on overall mood and mental processing abilities, so they are regarded as a brain-boosting snack. Pumpkin seeds contain more magnesium, copper, and zinc than other seeds, which aid in eye contact, concentration, and memory. One of the simplest brain-boosting foods for children to consume.
Also check, Health benefits of pumpkin seeds.
Pure cocoa powder (unsweetened) contains brain boosting components as it is packed with a large number of antioxidants molecules, the main is epicatechin helpful to improve cognition in studies. Hence cocoa powder is also an important brain development food for children.
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