Parenting Guide: Improving Your Child’s Mental Health

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As a parent, it is only normal for you to want all the best things for your child. For sure, you want him to grow up as a responsible member of society. At the same time, you also aim to make him healthy at all times. However, not every parent knows this, but there are two aspects that you must look into when it comes to this matter. As must as possible, focus on improving your child’s physical as well as mental health. “You know your child best. If something just doesn’t feel right, trust that instinct. It’s better to go and get something checked out if you’re not sure.” A reminder from Kristen Eastman, PsyD.

 

In this article, we are going to give attention to the latter concern. Every parent needs to see the significance of helping his child to have improved mental health. Take note that there is an increasing number of children and teens who have committed suicide because of different reasons. As such, it is now your responsibility to see to it that your child does not fall a victim of depression, anxiety, and stress. It is crucial for you to exert efforts in doing these things:

 

Be Hands On In Taking Good Care Of Him

 

The first thing that you need to consider is to be extra-hands on when it comes to raising your child. Do not leave everything to the baby sitter. There is no excuse for not being there for your child, especially when he needs you the most. Take note that living your little one under the care of another person is not ideal, as it can be an indication of abandonment on his part. Of course, you are probably too busy with your business and work, but still, you must only leave your child with a baby sitter as a last option.

 

Make Him Feel Loved And Accepted

 

Every person has different ways of showing love and affection. As a parent, it is your primary objective to do this remarkably. As much as possible, never let your child feel that he is neglected. Give him enough time to feel that you genuinely care for him, regardless of your hectic schedule. At the same time, you must always remind him that you accept everything about him. Do not try to change him into someone that he is not. This also means that you must never compare him to others. “Examine your expectations based on your own childhood and adjust as needed.” Cynthia Ridgway, MA, LMHC, NCC, DCC said.

 

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Listen To Him

 

One of the common mistakes of parents is pressuring their child to become someone that they are not. At the same time, there are also some parents who continue to ignore their children’s predicaments. Be sure to avoid being one of these individuals if you want your child’s mental health to be in good condition. Keep in mind that the continuous act of ignoring your child’s pleas or concerns can send him a signal that you no longer care for him. If this continues to happen, he may seek refuge or relief from other people who may have a bad influence over him.

 

Moreover, it can also increase negative emotions on his part. As such, the right thing to do is to talk to him now and then. Make him feel that you are interested in whatever he has to say.

 

Avoid Fighting With Your Spouse

 

“Experts agree that if parents cannot control their anger in front of their children, those children will likely experience adjustment problems.” Tiffany Lowther, MA, LMHC said. Never let your child see that you are in a fight or argument with your spouse. Remember that what you do can influence his behavior and mindset. Because of this, you must aim to become a role model for your little one. What you must do is to show love and affection for everyone in the family so that your child will also grow up doing the same. Never make the mistake of arguing with your husband when your child is around. Instead, show him that there are different ways on how to handle the issues.

 

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Conclusion

 

Whether you like it or not, the truth is that you are responsible for the wellbeing of your child. His mental stability depends on how you plan to raise him. Do not worry because you can always ask for help and support from everyone surrounding you. Always be willing to accept assistance from a relative, family or your friends. Make this a top priority so that your child will become healthy – physically and mentally. Choose to do the right things.

 

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Reprimanding Your Children

Children do a lot of things that could get the rest of their family angry. The younger ones could break something accidentally, the grade-schoolers might snag a few sweets from the refrigerator without telling, and the adolescents might come home past their curfew. Situations like these aren’t uncommon.

Your child will inevitably do something that’ll get you angry. It is a common occurrence in any family. What’s sure to happen next is a thorough scolding and the warning that it should never happen again.

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But how should parents go about reprimanding their children? Is there a right and wrong way to do it? And how can you do it most effectively? Wonder no more. Here are some do’s and don’ts to follow when reprimanding your child!

Don’t Scream At Them

“Getting angry, becoming emotional, crying, laying guilt trips, or even nervously laughing are all inappropriate emotions during discipline.” That is according to Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC. Instead, take a deep breath before confronting your child about what they did. You have to be able to speak with them and discuss the matter rationally. No matter how angry or irritated you are, find a way to get rid of these negative emotions.

If you begin scolding your child while you’re angry, you may end up saying something you’ll regret. It will probably help in getting rid of your anger, but it might scar your child. As much as possible, avoid cursing them or calling them derogatory names. Doing that is counterintuitive.

Additionally, don’t raise your voice with your child while talking about what they did wrong. Children, especially younger ones, might get frightened if you yell at them. Moreover, there’s a high chance that your child will forget what you were trying to tell them. All they’ll remember was the fact that you screamed at them and the fear that followed from that.

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Be calm. Find a way to relax. You have to be able to address the situation with a clear mind. Doing this is both for your sake and your child’s.

Don’t Hurt Them Physically

“Nothing ruins self-esteem like surrounding yourself with people who abuse or neglect you,” explains Karen R. Koenig, MEd, LCSW. Spanking or slapping your child as punishment is a big no-no. The reasons why are very similar to the ones stated in the previous item. Physical punishment might scare children. It might also lead to them failing to understand what they did wrong. A slap or a spank, after all, doesn’t explicitly inform them of their wrongdoing. All it does is make them feel pain and fear.

Scientific studies show that physically punishing your children for their wrongdoing is ineffective. It is, in fact, harmful as it may lead to behavioral and mental health problems. There are many alternatives to physical punishment. These alternatives may prove to be less harmful, more effective, and, most importantly, more humane.

Before punishing your child physically, ask yourself if you can fix the problem by talking to them. Next time, think twice before deciding to slap or spank your child. Won’t doing so do more harm than good? Studies point to the answer being yes.

Do Explain What They Did Wrong

Sit down with your child and approach them about what happened. Tell them what they did wrong and why you’re angry about it. Allow them to ask questions about the whole situation. Make sure to answer these questions as best you can. “It’s important to ensure your parenting style is supporting healthy growth and development because the way you interact with your child and how you discipline her will influence her for the rest of her life.” Amy Morin, LCSW said.

Let’s say your child accidentally knocks over a picture frame and the glass breaks. Explain to them why you’re saddened and frustrated. Tell them that you bought that frame and that you were using it to hold a memorable photo. Also, explain to the children that they should be more careful next time. Do this so that they don’t break anything else and hurt themselves in the process. What you want is for your children to understand what you’re telling them. You also want them to try and better their behavior.

Do Discuss The Consequences Of Their Actions

Make sure that your children grasp that all things have consequences. When they do something terrible, repercussions will follow.

Let’s say; for instance, your child breaks a pen that belongs to someone else at school. Make sure they know that they have to apologize for what they did. Sincerely. That’s a consequence following their wrongdoing. The owner of the pen might also demand your child to replace it, which is another consequence.

There are good consequences and severe consequences. And if your child wants to avoid the latter, then they’ll understand why they’d be better off avoiding doing bad things. Remember why parents reprimand their children as many tend to forget. Your goal when doing this to your children is not to shame them or to make them feel guilty. It is indeed not to make them feel terrible about themselves either.

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Ultimately, parents reprimand their children to inform them of the wrong that they did or the damage they’ve caused. You want them to understand why you’re angry and that they shouldn’t do what they did again. Remember these do’s and don’ts so that you may reprimand your children in a way that is harmless and effective.

The Worst Things About Parenting

I love my children so much more than anything in the world, but I’m not going to lie about how I hate parenting. I know it is part of my job to take care of my children, so I don’t have to complain. But all the exhaustion, agitation, anxiety, and depression that goes along with the process of parenthood is way too much too handle.

  • “You may have done everything right. You may have tried your best to instill the right values, morals and faith. Your kid’s challenging but that doesn’t mean failure on your part.”  Allison Ricciardi, LMHC said. No matter how tired you are, how toxic your work is, and you don’t feel well at all, you don’t instantly remove yourself from all the things you have to do. Parenting is a never-ending responsibility that won’t allow you to stop. And despite the help that technological advancement can give, your children will still require you to do something no matter what.
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  • It’s not a secret that once you get to experience having kids, you become their full support. That includes eating all their leftovers. Therefore, parenting makes you involuntarily fat. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of eating the sweet stuff is not that worst. However, the aftermath is what makes it more undesirable. And exercise? You can probably forget about it. But if you happen to find time inserting it in your schedule, might as well work on it asap. “what’s more important than the quantity of time you spend with your kids is the quality of the time you do have together.” That is what Francyne Zeltser, Psy.D. used to say.

 

  • As a parent, we always ensure to pull out the essentials of our kids. Therefore, we have to provide for the things that they need. Though not all parents are alike, most of us still end up broke. Not that we have to complain about it because it’s part of our duty as the kids’ provider. But sometimes, it gets too unfair because there’s nothing left for us and everything becomes all about them.
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  • Parenting is a non-stop job that takes away your love for sleep. Well, not literally, but it does make you consider not to think about it most of the time. It always feels like a thing that you’ll never get to use anymore. Fortunately, you can always find time to choose it over the other not-so-important stuff that you need to do. Of course, on a limited allowable time.

 

  • Parenthood comes with restrictions. Therefore, you are not allowed to drink and have fun with friends inside or outside the house. You are the role model for your kids. You don’t want them to see or think that you’re jugging all those beers while dancing awkwardly. Even if you are given the opportunity to do that nowadays, your alcohol tolerance already dropped a couple of levels.
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  • Being a parent, you don’t instantly lose all the anxiety about the world. That’s because everything about it scares you. No, you don’t feel scared for yourself, but for your children. Everything that may seem to harm them becomes your worst nightmare. From there, the depression and anxiety never stop. In some unfortunate events, it causes sleepless nights and even panic attacks. “You’re likely feeling doubtful, overwhelmed and more than a little worried about your child’s future and your own abilities as a parent.” Carrie Sheppard, LMHC said.

There are other things that you can think about when it comes to hating parenthood. However, no one can deny that it is the most fulfilling job a person can accomplish in his entire life.

Teaching Kids To Be Responsible 

The youth today is entirely different from yesterday, do you agree? Notice how busy they get with their phones chatting, playing games, and watching videos. Do they still have time to be responsible? If they do not have anything else to do than tapping their gadgets, then no, they do not have time to practice discipline anymore. 

 

Source: speedofcreativity.org

 

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