How to take care of your Child’s Mental Health
Education and exams can be stressful no matter your age. But it is easy to forget that children feel the same pressures and anxieties as adults, whether it is in relation to physical or mental challenges, academic performance or school exams. Children understand the impact their education has in determining the schools they attend and their future careers. That is why it is vital we make ourselves available to support and nurture their talents during some of the toughest periods of their lives yet.
As parents, carers or guardians, we should be prepared to talk with our children and be alert to their thoughts and feelings. We should be on hand to offer advice and reinforce that we are here to help. Some children require more encouragement or extra academic aid.
Mental health in younger children
Even young children feel stressed, sad or anxious, and these emotions can affect their long-term mental wellbeing. It is possible for them to respond negatively to their daily life or education, so we must monitor and manage them as carers. Many may think that mental health is less of a worry in young children. But like any other age, we must keep a close eye on this aspect of their lives.
It is possible to use reablement techniques to maintain support for younger children. Reablement is a type of short-term rehabilitation service that helps people after a hospital stay, illness, or injury. Young children who have experienced stressful situations, as well as illnesses that have affected their ability to perform both educational and daily activities, may benefit from this.
Reablement helps children regain skills and independence. It usually involves aiding a child’s everyday activities such as bathing, dressing, and using the toilet independently. It might also include rehabilitation exercises to regain physical strength and mobility. These techniques will give your child the future confidence to carry out fundamental tasks.
Mental health during exam season
Exams are some of the most stressful times in a child’s life. They are yet another pressure on top of a society growing in concerns for the health of the planet and our living situations. Consider whether your child needs tutoring to give them the confidence they need to prepare for their exams, be it in advance of national exams or entrance exams as your child makes to move to a secondary school. That will involve learning more about your child’s thoughts and feelings and being aware of the actions you can take to alleviate as much stress as possible.
Communicate clearly and openly with your child. Make sure they know they can come to you at any time for help. Cooperate with them to explore different ways to cope with stress when times get tough. Ensure they are not suffering from any external stresses you can control. Encourage them to take breaks from revision if they find themselves overworked, and to enjoy physical exercise, hobbies and healthy eating.
Seeking Professional Help
Loving and supporting your child no matter their struggles and providing a safe, stable environment are key ingredients in maintaining good mental health – but in some cases this may not be enough. If your situation is escalating and you recognise severe mental health symptoms, seek medical help from a professional.
There are several types of medical professionals who can aid in maintaining a stable mental health: a child and adolescent psychiatrist or psychologist, a clinical social worker or a counsellor. Ask your local GP, paediatrician or school counsellor for the best option to suit your child’s situation.