How to Bring Up Mentally Healthy Children
Updated: Apr 5
In 2020, results from the Singapore Mental Health Study by the Institute of Mental Health highlighted a distressing issue. In just three years, there has been a 500% increase in the number of children between the ages of 5 and 9 calling their hotline to seek help.
Being mentally healthy in childhood includes reaching developmental and emotional milestones, learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems. Mentally healthy children are more likely to have a positive quality of life and are more likely to function well at home, in school, and in their communities.
All parents have the goal of raising healthy, happy well-adjusted children. Most parents search for information online and from books and other resources related to parenting, child development and child psychology to help them to be successful in achieving their goals. Parents may think that helping children with their homework and keeping them involved in extracurricular activities are the most important actions they can take.
Yet parents may overlook the importance of daily interaction with kids as well as the impact of daily family life as playing a vital role in supporting mental health and well-being for all family members.
Having a loving and safe home and spending time with family― reading, playing, talking and singing―are very important. Proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep also can make a big impact.
Consistent involvement in family leisure remains important, however, creating satisfying family leisure experiences should be given more emphasis rather than simply high levels of family leisure involvement.
When parents and kids spend time interacting and having fun with each other, the results are many and extremely valuable. From this experience over the years, children come to feel important and loved. They have the chance to learn essential values from their parents. Parents can gain more in-depth knowledge about their children’s strengths and weaknesses, which empowers them to provide sufficient support and proper guidance.
During these times, mainly when it’s one-on-one time, children feel free to express their thoughts and feelings. All these experiences create a stronger parent-child bond, which leads to greater confidence, self-reliance and resilience in your child.
Here are some activities to consider to increase family leisure time and bonding:
1. Have family meal time include family input into the menu, helping food preparation, setting the table, serving, and cleaning up. Having a regular time for meals with “full attendance” most of the time is essential. There should be no electronic devices. Use this opportunity for family discussions related to how and what family members are doing, as well as planning activities for the family.
2. Get into the habit of reading to your children several times a week. Engage them in a discussion. Ask what they liked about the book. If it was fiction, ask him/her what he/she thought about the outcome or any other plot points. Also, ask if they identified with any of the characters and if so, why. You can also ask if any of the characters reminded them of someone they know. Look for chances to discuss character traits and values. If the book is non-fiction, you can start by asking why your child chose it. You can continue a discussion about the topic and their interests. Ask your child what they learned and what they will do with the knowledge.
3. Attend community events together such as a carnival, parade, public project, or fundraising projects like a walk or run.
4. Participate in religious activities together.
5. Plan for family game nights. Board games and card games are excellent ways to have fun.
6. Share music by listening, singing, or dancing together.
7. Schedule the activities and commit to making them happen.
Finally, your family will become more connected and cohesive and your children will feel more loved and accepted.
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As a leading preschool and childcare in Tampines, Genesis Childcare 1989 provides a comfortable, clean, well-ventilated and conducive learning environment for your child to learn, explore, discover and be creative. Our Preschool Tampines have over 30 years of experience in caring for your beloved child.
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Genesis Childcare 1989 (Playgroup to Kindergarten 2)
Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 Singapore 520433
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Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 Singapore 520433
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