Mental Health


Mandy Kloppers

Proven Ways to Raise Mentally Healthy and Strong Children

Parents are typically the learning board for kids. Their actions, inactions, communication styles, assertive or non-assertive nature, and mannerisms are often unconsciously absorbed by the children. So if your children are angry, chances are you or your partner is an angry parent.

They may not even be aware of the fact that they are angry. For them, it’s just a way of life… until someone points it out. This is why you’ll find that members of the same family tend to act the same way, have similar mannerisms, and even talk alike.

Codependency, coddling, excessive restrictions, and poor communication rarely helps children. If anything, it inhibits their growth and impedes their mental and emotional development. This is why parents must endeavor to teach and show their children the right things that will help them become independent, self-reliant and mentally tough.

Here are few things to start with:

Allow Them Have Some Freedom and Make Mistakes

While helicopter parenting has its many benefits, it often leads to emotionally stunted kids and adults who aren’t assertive. Shielding children only causes them to become even bigger “babies” in their adult years. 

One of the biggest mistakes that parents can make is trying to prevent their children from making mistakes or being excessively strict such that the child becomes so fearful of making mistakes that they just stop making an effort. The only way a child can grow is by learning how not to do certain things. 

And while you can teach that, it’s often better to let them go through the experience –within reason so they don’t become frustrated. As a parent, you need to allow and make room for your kids to make mistakes. More importantly, they need to realize that it’s okay to make mistakes –that it’s all part of the learning process. 

Respect Them and Let Them See it

It’s not enough to tell children that you respect and love them, you have to show them that you do. This is incredibly great for their self-esteem and will make them very confident individuals. 

The most effective way to do this is by listening to, paying attention to, and supporting them. This communicates to them that what they think, say, and do matters. When you speak to the children, do so with courtesy.

And even when you need to scold them for something wrong, do it without criticizing their personality or verbally abusing them. This will teach them self-respect, which they’ll naturally give because they’ve learned it. 

Set Clear Boundaries and Punishments

Children naturally test boundaries and push limits as they get older and stronger. Your goal as a parent is to get them to respect the reasonable boundaries that you have put in place. 

The emphasis on reasonable is important because there’s often a thin line between an overly restrictive and stifling boundary and a reasonable one. For example, you can show your older child that it’s okay to push his baby sister around the yard in your Venicci stroller, but never safe to push her outside. 

But if he does that, you’ll need to mete out some punishment. Just make sure that whatever punishments you dole out, that it’s done in a reasonable manner, and should serve as a teachable moment. This way, the child will learn that excessively pushing the necessary limits and boundaries you have enforced, has serious consequences. 

Photo by Surface on Unsplash

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