Family Life is Important for Kid’s Mental Health and Adjustment
- Updated on 16 Jan 2021
- Parents Corner
- Indrani Raha
- 5 mins read
Like most parents, you, too, are probably very diligent about taking your kids to their well-visits, getting immunizations, offering healthy and nutritious food, and helping with their schoolwork. Whether you work full time or part-time, childcare is an essential commitment as a parent. Nothing matters more than ensuring if a child is in a safe, caring, and stimulating environment. But just one question! How often have you thought about taking care of a kid’s mental health and adjustments?
A child’s mental health is just as important as their physical health, especially when it comes to dealing with stress and academics. As a parent, when you sow the seeds of empathy and compassion from your child’s early age, they are likely to be happier and successful when they grow up. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 2 in 10 children experience a mental disorder every year. And while not all mental health problems can be cured, you can take the necessary steps to keep your child as mentally healthy as possible. For that, they need nothing but you and your time! Yes, dear parents, family life is indeed very important for your children’s mental health and adjustment.
Your child needs you and only you!
Not to mention, our goal is to raise happy and well-adjusted children. There are thousands of books and social media pages that provide advice on raising children successfully. Whether it is about health, child development, education, or parenting, experts strive to give parents the most up to date information when it comes to the importance of family life. However, the most simple truth is often overlooked: Children from birth to adulthood need family time and their parents’ attention. Sometimes we become so anxious to raise a “successful” child that we overlook the importance of spending time with family and interacting personally with them. Please don’t misinterpret! This does not mean picking up kids from school and rushing to extracurricular activities or supervising homework. Interactive time is spent with both child and parent fully engaged in an activity together. The importance of such family time is multifold. Children will be able to feel their value and their importance in our life. They will be able to feel loved. Things don’t end here. Children will have an opportunity to model their parent’s behavior. Wondering how we will be benefitted? Well, we, in return, will be able to observe and learn about our little one’s strengths and weaknesses and can guide them in a much better way.
Having said that, the goal of spending quality family time is to love, understand, and develop children as happy, well-adjusted, and contributing members of society. But what if the relationship between parents and children is unhealthy? Innumerable studies reveal several adverse outcomes when children or adolescents do not receive the right love, attention, and guidance from their parents. This, in turn, gives rise to mental health problems and how to deal with adjustments in many young minds . While you wonder how and what needs to be done to combat such problems coming your child’s way, we have come up with a few things that you should not miss out on!
What can families do to raise awareness and help prevent mental health problems?
First, a kid’s good mental health and adjustments starts with how a parent perceives and responds to them. Especially during early to middle childhood, children want to please their adult caregivers more than anything else. Fostering acceptance and love from birth will help facilitate a positive self-image. Learning how to talk to tots in a way that doesn’t include bribes, sarcasm, or nagging is also important to keep in mind.
There are even loads of activities to consider when it comes to increasing family fun-time and bonding: Wait! Wondering about its expenses? No way! The activities need not be expensive. The key is to give children your full attention. So, just keep it sweet and simple! Want to get started? Here are a few back to back suggestions waiting for you.
This includes time and involvement for coming up with the day’s menu, helping each other prepare the food, serving, and cleaning up. Having a regular time for meals with your children is essential. We parents should utilize this opportunity for family discussions related to what and how our children are doing and plan family activities.
2. Making it a habit of reading with children
Yes, you heard it right! We need to take the initiative and ask our tots about which book they are currently reading and then read it all by ourselves. In both cases, we need to engage them in a discussion. Such as: asking them what made them like the book. If it’s fiction, we can ask them their thoughts about the outcome or any other plot points. Asking them if any of the characters remind them of someone they know is a great idea to keep them engaged for hours. In short, we need to look for opportunities to discuss character traits and values. If the book is non-fiction, we can probably start by asking why they have selected such books, followed by asking what they learned and what they will do with the information.
3. Attending community events together.
Events spent together such as a parade, carnival, public project, or fundraising projects like a walk or run will work wonders when it comes to spending quality time with them.
4. Who said Friday nights are only for adults?
We can have it with our champs too. Board games, card games, or puzzles are great ways to have fun. Also, sharing music by listening, singing, or dancing together will help us know their tastes and preferences.
5. Watch out for movies together.
Not just game nights, watching a movie together, whether at home or a theater, discussing the impressions, looking for teachable moments, and having an open discussion related to characters, values, and problem-solving would also combat kids from having mental health issues and help in adjustments.
These are just a few suggestions. Yes, we know nurturing a child is not a cakewalk, and it requires great effort on the parent’s part. However, it is a rewarding experience to see your child turn into a responsible and caring human being. Just sit back, relax, and hang on with them. This should be your only matra, no matter what! Only then will your family become more connected and cohesive, your children will get a conducive and secure environment, and finally, they will be able to abide by what you have taught them. We must not forget that a family is a child’s first source of learning, and thus we need to assure that it is a good one. Yes, we admit, no one is perfect, but can’t we strive to do the right things to help our children have a peaceful environment to grow up in? Give them your precious time. Because at the end of the time, “family matters! Come! Let’s understand, accept, and appreciate each other!
What is the significance of your family in your development?
Would also love to know your part of the story! Do feel free to write to us in the comments below!
10 Amazing and the most followed YouTube kids channels for new parents
What’s the right age for children to start speaking
10 Learning activity ideas for 3-4-year-olds