Mental health is often misconstrued as being something for adults only, but positive mental health begins at a young age. Four decades of research in neuroscience training suggests that you should nurture a positive attitude and good mental health within your kids by encouraging them to do things that give them confidence and banish negative thoughts. That said, here are a few other ways you can encourage your kids to make better choices for good mental health. It’s a good skill-builder for their futures. Engage Your Children in Imaginative Play, especially in Outdoor Settings Children are experts when it comes to imaginative play. Imagination is a big deal when you’re a kid, but most adults lose that as they get older.
Tap into what it was like to be imaginative and carefree when you were a kid and play imaginary things with your youngster. It’s a great bonding experience that leads to better mental health because of those feel-good feelings. Teach Your Kids How to Cope with Their Spectrum of Feelings, especially Anger, Aggression, and Boredom Children need boundaries for their emotions. They need to learn how to channel negative emotions into positive things. For instance, exercising when they get angry, or write, read, or do something crafty when they feel sad. These coping mechanisms aren’t linear, as every child is different, but those boundaries should let your child know that the best way to cope with their feelings are those that leave them feeling better without harming themselves or someone else. Let Your Littles Explore Their Hobbies and Interests from a Young Age—Encourage Them to Do What They Love Does your little one love to read? Paint? Draw? Build cool structures out of blocks? Or simply run around the backyard at top speeds? These examples could all lead into other hobbies and interests; ones that would be healthy for mind and body as your kiddo got older. Ergo, you should encourage them to explore what they love to do. It fosters positive mental health through support and positive experience. Tip: You can throw more physical health in with good mental health by taking weekly nature walks as a family. The fresh air would be great for everyone.