We are off and running into the second week of school. I hope everyone is surviving, I know it can be a difficult transition but with the right tools we can make it.
As a nurse I am consistently trying to teach my children about good physical health and nutrition. But mental health is just as important. Good mental health allows children to think clearly, develop socially and learn new skills. Here are some basic tips for both physical and mental health.
Good physical health includes:
Having a healthy diet.
Good mental health includes:
Unconditional love. A child needs to know that you will accept and love them regardless of their accomplishments. Children will make mistakes, just as adults do. We build confidence in a unconditional loving environment.
Self confidence and good self esteem. Build a child's confidence and self esteem by praising them, setting realistic goals, being honest, avoiding sarcasm, and encourage them to do their best.
Social interactions with other peers. Make time for play!! Be creative, play hard, run, yell and have fun! This helps the child both physically and mentally.
Healthy play. Although we live in a society that focuses on winning, we need to remind our children that winning is not everything. Good sportsmanship and making your best effort is more important then always winning.
Encouragement from supportive care takers. Encourage and support your children in the activities they would like to try. Be their cheerleader even if they try and fail.
Be compassionate and empathetic to their feelings, win or lose.
Safe and secure surroundings. Talk to your children to make sure they feel safe and secure in their surroundings. Not only at home but at school as well.
Appropriate discipline and boundaries. Every children needs discipline and boundaries. B firm but kinds and realistic with your expectations.
Be a good example for your children.
Avoid nagging and criticism.
Encourage your children to talk about their feelings. And seek help if you see any of these warning signs; decline in school performance; regular anxiety; refusal to go to school; persistent nightmares or depression.
Hopefully we can use these tools to help our children have a successful school year.