Many parents today are worried about perceived overzealous diagnosing of children with mental health disorders. This is driven in part by a widespread perception that children generally don’t suffer from mental health issues. Unfortunately, there is a growing acceptance of the fact that rates of mental illness in children are beginning to increase. Previously, it had been argued that the dramatic increases in diagnoses was reflective of better education and diagnostic tools.
Parents today therefore find themselves treading a delicate line. On the one hand, we don’t want to project our worries and insecurities onto our children. Worrying about their mental health is natural, but if you begin to interpret their every bad mood as a sign of illness, this can place undue strain on them. However, equally no parent can countenance the thought of their child suffering with mental health issues while they stand idly by.
Fortunately, there are a number of simple things you can do to monitor your child’s mental health and encourage them to be as healthy as possible in this regard, without being overbearing.
Diet is an essential component of good health, both physically and psychologically. Your brain needs to produce certain neurotransmitters and hormones in order to regulate mood and emotions. If it doesn’t have access to the necessary chemical building blocks to make these substances, this leads to emotional imbalances.
Encourage your children to eat healthily and do everything you can to give them a balanced and well-rounded diet. For families who are working on a tight grocery budget, it can be a challenge to give your kids a well-rounded diet sohere are some meal ideas to get you started.
This is the other pillar of a healthy lifestyle. Pairing a healthy and balanced diet with the benefits of regular exercise is the fastest way to a healthier body and a healthier mind. Making sure that your family, adults and children, get enough exercise is actually much simpler than many people realize. You don’t need to be playing intense sports or hitting the gym for hours. Even if your family takes a 15-20 minute walk each evening, this will make a tangible difference to yours and your children’s health.
The link between physical and emotional health is now well established. If your children aren’t getting enough exercise, their emotional health will suffer along with their physical health.
If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, and your efforts at improving it don’t appear to be working, you might want to seek out a child therapist. Child therapy has advanced a huge amount over the last couple of decades; it is now at an advanced stage and we are able to help most children without resorting to medications, although these are always an option.
There are a million and one things that parents have to worry about every day, and no parent wants to think about their child suffering internally with a mental illness. While it is important to remain vigilant of your child’s mental health, it is also important to remember that there usually isn’t a problem. When there is a problem, a child therapist can help to put things right. The key is to not despair. Remain positive and your children will too.