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Good mental health for children

Mental health is the way children think and feel about themselves and the world around them. It affects how children cope with life’s challenges and stresses.

Relationships and good mental health for children

Here are some ideas to promote your child’s mental health and wellbeing through a loving and supportive relationship:

  • Tell your child that you love them, no matter what. You can also show love through your body language and nonverbal communication.
  • Use a positive, constructive and consistent approach to guide your child’s behaviour.
  • Make time every day to talk and listen to your child.
  • Enjoy time with your child doing activities they like.
  • Work on positive ways to solve problems and manage conflict.
  • Encourage your child to connect with others in the community.

Emotions and good mental health for children

Children experience all sorts of emotions as part of growing up – fear, disappointment, sadness, anxiety, anger, joy, hope and so on.

Here are some ways you can help your child learn to manage emotions:

  • Talk about emotions with your child, and encourage them to recognise and label their emotions. You can also let your child know that it’s natural to have all sorts of feelings.
  • Role-model a positive outlook for your child.
  • Support your child when something is bothering them.
  • Help your child learn to manage small worries so they don’t become big problems. You can do this by gently encouraging your child to do things they’re anxious about instead of avoiding scary situations.

Behaviour, goals, skills and good mental health for children

Here are ways to promote your child’s mental health and wellbeing through a focus on behaviour:

  • Have family rules about behaviour and involve your child in developing rules and consequences. Adjust the rules and consequences as your child grows. Rules and boundaries help children of all ages feel safe and secure.
  • Help your child to set realistic goals for their age and abilities and work towards achieving them.
  • Help your child learn how to solve problems so that they develop the skills to do this for themselves when they’re older.
  • Encourage your child to try new things, take age-appropriate risks, and learn from their mistakes.

Good physical health and mental health for children

Good physical health is important for mental health. That’s because being active helps your child stay healthy, have more energy, feel confident, manage stress and sleep well.

Here are some ways to help your child stay physically fit and well:

  • Offer healthy food and encourage healthy eating habits in your family.
  • Encourage your child to try plenty of different physical activities and sports.
  • Make sure your child gets the sleep they need. Quality sleep will help your child to manage stress and a busy life.

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