• What Every Child Needs for Good Mental Health

    It is easy for parents to identify their child’s physical needs: nutritious food, warm clothes when it’s cold, bedtime at a reasonable hour. However, a child’s mental and emotional needs may not be as obvious. Good mental health allows children to think clearly, develop socially, and learn new skills. Additionally, good friends and encouraging words from adults are all important for helping children develop self-confidence, high self-esteem, and a health emotional outlook on life.

    Basics for a child’s good mental health:

    • Unconditional love from family 
    • Self-confidence and high self-esteem 
    • The opportunity to play with other children 
    • Encouraging teachers and supportive caregivers
    • Safe and secure surroundings
    • Appropriate guidance & discipline
    • Join in the fun: play with your children and avoid a winning/ losing attitude
      • ask your child, “Did you have fun?” not “Did you win?” 
    • Monitor television viewing – don’t use the TV as a babysitter 
    • Promote the idea that school is fun – try playing school so your child can obtain a positive glimpse of school life
    • Criticize your child’s behavior when necessary – not your child
    • Avoid nagging, threats, and bribery
    • Talk about your feelings 

    Remember, the goal is not to control your child, but for him or her to learn self-control.

    - from Mental Health America website, www.nmha.org