How to promote wellness in children

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Children’s wellbeing is essential to our future and investing in children’s emotional well-being will help them thrive and grow into healthy adults. (Photos: Envato Elements)
Global statistics claim that one in four people will experience a mental health condition during their lives. Many of those conditions begin before the age of 14, over 75 percent before the age of 26. This makes the early stages of childhood crucial for later success.اضافة اعلان

Children are our future, so maintaining their well-being is of utmost importance. Children need sustenance, shelter, and love to be happy. However, there is much more to be considered.

Investing in children’s emotional well-being will help them thrive and grow into healthy adults. Emotional wellness for children and adults is crucial to living a healthy life. Raising well-rounded children helps them cope with whatever problems they may have in the future.

Resilience is one of the most essential traits to carry with you from childhood. Providing children with support, encouragement, and praising them when appropriate improves their overall development and helps them develop resilience. 

Many parents struggle to connect with their children on an emotional level and are left wondering why their child lashes out at any minor inconvenience. While parents are never to blame for this, there are things they can do to help set their children up for a better future and give them a better handle on how to deal with the issues they will face later in life.

How to tell if your child is lacking emotional wellbeing

There are signs parents should keep an eye out for when it comes to the wellness of their children:
Lack of enjoyment in activities that once brought them joy.  
Appearing constantly bored or being heavily invested in things such as electronics. 
Constant irritability and aggression, seemingly without reason.
Difficulty concentrating on any task. 
Sleep disturbances or changes in appetite. 
If a child exhibits any of those signs, it likely means that his emotional well-being is suffering.

Reasons for decreased emotional wellness in children

Growing up is difficult. From the second we are born, we are constantly learning and experiencing. These experiences can be frightening and cause distress, even into adulthood. In time, these experiences become less intimidating as we learn how to handle them, but at the moment, they seem overwhelming. 

Many factors contribute to poor emotional wellness, and they often act in a cycle. For example, chronic stress related to the pressure to succeed in school may cause a child to do poorly, which, in turn, will cause him to stress even more, ultimately decreasing wellness and causing a cycle that can be difficult to break. Other factors include family instability, poverty, sleep deprivation, low self-esteem/confidence, and poor social relations with peers, parents, and teachers. 

In Jordan, emotional wellness in children may be an area of growing concern. A study was conducted on Jordanian adolescents focused on assessing wellness within this demographic. When asked about happiness, 29.2 percent of respondents claimed that some things were fine, but for the most part they were unhappy. This response was found to be significantly higher in girls compared to boys. 

Children’s wellbeing is essential to our future and investing in children’s emotional well-being will help them thrive and grow into healthy adults. (Photos: Envato Elements) 

Moreover, 11.3 percent of respondents claimed that they often felt lonely, a response significantly higher in boys than in girls. Most disturbing was that 12.1 percent of the respondents claimed that they do not have enough social support in times of need. These numbers may seem low, but every child deserves the greatest opportunities in life, and the family should be the first to start helping them toward that. 

How to improve emotional wellness at home

As a parent, it can be hard to connect with your children and find out what they need emotionally. It is important to have open conversations with them and let them express their feelings. Talk about their mood, interests, behavior, friends, and struggles. This teaches them to openly talk about, and deal with, problems as they come. 

If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, ask your child what bothers him. This approach may be hard, as it takes patience and time to get the child comfortable enough to share. If children know that they are heard and understood at a young age, they learn to confront their problems head on, rather than bottle emotions, which leads to negative consequences. 

Praise is also extremely important for young children. Telling a child that he is doing a good job encourages good behavior and nurtures his confidence and self-worth. Praising effort can also motivate a child and encourage him to put even more effort in anything he might do in the future. Always let children know that they are loved and supported. This will also help with self-confidence. 

Lastly, one of the best things to do at home to secure your child’s wellness is to focus on your behavior. Children replicate their parents’ behavior and so showing them how to properly cope is the best way to teach them. If a child sees a parent lash out in an unhealthy way, he will likely do the same.

Benefits of nurturing emotional wellness in children

One of the most obvious benefits of ensuring your child’s wellbeing is improved academic performance. A recent survey done by Microsoft showed that about 79 percent of educators see emotional wellness as key to academic success. This is due to the fact that emotional wellness directly affects cognition and improves the ability to think clearly, focus, and learn better. 

Children will often express themselves in negative ways to elicit a reaction or get attention. Proper communication between parents and children can help the former understand the underlying cause of a certain behavior, as is telling them why it is inappropriate to act in a certain way. With time, children will begin to express themselves in a healthier way, with fewer mood swings and temper tantrums. 

Another benefit of nurturing emotional wellbeing in children is a marked increase in their confidence and social skills, which will motivate them to try new activities and build new skills as they grow. They will then carry that confidence, and those skills learned throughout their adult life. 

Good emotional health will also help form healthy habits, such as patience and impulse control. It teaches children to have a better handle on their emotions without lashing out, while also understanding the concept of responsibility and of accountability for one’s actions. This will help the parents, and will help the child grow into a healthy and happy individual. 

Every child is different, and every parent knows how to best handle their own. There is no doubt that parenting can be one of the most challenging tasks, but focusing on a child’s well-being can help reduce the possibility of having mental health issues later in life. 

The skills needed in adulthood are the ones we build when we are children. All parents want to see their children grow up to be the best version of themselves. The positive skills they learn during their childhood will help them get there.

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