Jacob Baranski Guelph is passionate about mental health, in particular supporting keeping children healthy by supporting their mental well-being. In this blog, Jacob Baranski Guelph shares his tips for supporting children’s mental health with parents, guardians, and other caregivers.
The World Health Organization defines mental health as a state of well-being in which an individual understands their own strengths, efficiently copes with everyday life challenges, works productively, and contributes to society at large.
Social and biological factors are essential determinants of a child’s mental health. Socio-cultural factors play an important role in mental health, such as a child’s surroundings and interactions with other people. This consists of their home and school environment. Macro socio-economic and political factors such as political conflicts can affect a child’s psychological well-being. Rapid social changes such as the COVID-19 pandemic can also bring stress upon a child. At the same time, biological factors such as those caused by genetics or physical illness can also affect a child’s mental health.
Jacob Baranski is passionate about mental health, in particular supporting keeping children healthy by supporting their mental well-being. In this blog, Jacob Baranski shares his tips for supporting children’s mental health with parents, guardians, and other caregivers.
- Nurture a stable environment
A stable environment fosters a sense of belonging in a child. It also provides reinforcement that their home or school environment is a safe space for them to be themselves. A nurturing environment may assure the child that they can talk to the adult in charge without fearing automatic backlash or reprimand if anything goes wrong. Jacob Baranski suggests being curious with your child and playing together with your undivided attention. A flexible but firm routine helps bring stability to your child’s life.
2. Provide adequate nutrition
Some mental health disorders can be attributed to malnutrition or poor nutrition. A diet rich in B vitamins, zinc, calcium, and magnesium promotes proper brain development and function. Overall, a balanced diet is the key to good mental well-being. Avoid diets high in sugars as they spike blood sugar levels and unhealthy enzyme production in a child’s body. This causes the body to not have room to unwind and naturally detox when necessary.
3. Empower children with life skills
Teach a child how to manage and regulate their emotions when undergoing stress. Enable a child to correctly identify the different emotions they feel throughout their day. Encourage positive outlets for anger or anxiety, such as journaling or art therapy. As the caregiver, be there for your child in times of distress. Do not undervalue what they are going through. Things that can stress a child include pressure concerning homework or high grades, conflicts within peer groups, fights with their siblings, and moving homes, cities, or schools—and these are just as valid as an adult’s concerns are for them. Other crucial life skills that will be helpful to a child in their day-to-day life are conflict resolution, decision-making skills, and time management.
4. Reinforce positive behavior
Acknowledge and reward when the child does something good. Some instances of these include remembering to tidy up their room, finishing their homework on time, or not throwing a tantrum for not getting something they wanted. In this way, you show them that responsibility, managing emotions, and empathy are desirable traits that make them better people and reiterate the benefits of positive behavior.
Following these tips will help you support your child in gaining a healthy perspective on mental well-being.
5. Keep them active
Exercise improves mental health by boosting the production of feel-good hormones such as dopamine in our bodies. Exercise has been shown to relieve the effects of anxiety and depression, elevating our overall mood by infusing us with a sense of achievement. Enrolling your child in team sports also helps them appreciate the benefits of collaboration. Sports will also give your child a positive sense of identity and fulfillment.