Creating a Positive Mental Health Environment at Home for your Children
Your home is your haven. It is where you feel the most comfortable and the best place to be at your truest self. This same goes for your children. It is just right that your home should radiate a positive mental health environment that promotes healing and mindfulness for them.
The state of your home can have a huge impact on the mental health and wellness of your kids. The places they are in every day like your home have a powerful effect on the kind of person they will be. One study done by Schmeer, K. and Yoon, A. suggested that “the home environment includes important social and physical contexts within which children develop. Poor physical home environments may be a potential source of stress for children through difficult daily experiences.”
This is the main reason why parents strive and work hard to provide the best for their children. Sad to say, this is not the reality for all. Some parents have to make ends meet just to feed their children and still fail to give them a comfortable life.
How to create a positive mental health environment at home?
Parenting can both be rewarding and exhausting. No matter how difficult the situation is, all parents want the same thing – to raise physically, mentally and emotionally healthy children. Seeing a happy child will always fill their hearts to the fullest. Parents will always see to it that they create a home that embraces good behavior, confidence and happiness.
Show love and appreciation.
Children need to know and feel that they are loved and appreciated. They may not listen to your words but they will always remember your actions and how you made them feel happy. Praise them every time they show desirable behaviors such as helping in doing chores, being patient with their younger siblings, or getting a good score in school.
It does not matter how big or small their achievements are, the important thing is you reward them with good words that will eventually motivate and inspire them to always do their best. In addition, parents also need to convey self-respect, self-worth and a sense of security.
Let them feel your parental love by hugging and kissing them. Show them affection even if they do wrong because it tells them you love them unconditionally. Your touch and smell will serve as beautiful memories that they will carry in their lifetime.
Communicate all the time.
One of the most effective ways to promote a positive mental health environment at home is to make sure that you and your children talk. Communication strengthens the bond between you and your kids. Making time to ask them about school and their life will remind them that you are always there.
Your home should be a safe place where they can talk, ask and discuss anything. Children are naturally curious and when they ask you certain things you must be honest and real. They need to know that you are the first person they can go to for information and advice.
Allow them to express their anger, disappointments and frustrations because this is their only way to show their emotions. As much as you want them to always be happy, you also have to bear the fact that there will be days when there is much screaming, crying and tantrums. Listen and validate their feelings.
Build an engaging environment.
These days, children heavily rely on gadgets to occupy their time. They easily get bored and when they are not doing anything unwanted behavior emerges. A positive mental health environment at home allows children to be free yet know how to obey rules. It should be a calming place where they can play, explore and discover new things.
Many parents resort to buying expensive materials to enhance cognitive and mental skills but a simple trip to a park or a conversation can already initiate learning. Give them a chance to make decisions on their own like choosing what clothes to wear or what shows to watch. It is all about creating your home that will help develop your children’s overall mental health and wellness.
Spend quality time together.
As parents, you need to make sure that you are spending enough time with your kids. Designate a day of the week where you could go out and do outdoor activities together. Teach your children the importance of being with the family and doing stuff that all of you enjoy.
You can also allot every dinner time as family time. Share stories about your day and things that make you happy or frustrated. Tell your children that if it is family time, they are not allowed to use any gadgets. They need to get used to the idea that family time is not negotiable and should be honored all the time.
Encourage a positive mindset.
A positive mental health environment at home can result in a positive way of thinking. Having a positive mindset is not easy, especially when you grow up in an unpleasant and destructive environment. Your children must constantly hear from you positive affirmations about themselves. You must not say words that will hurt and belittle them because these can have detrimental effects on their confidence.
Educate your children on the values and morals you believe and uphold. This way they will have a better understanding of the things you teach them. Having an optimistic attitude takes time and will be hard for the children so be a good role model.
Teach them to be responsible.
When your children are younger they can almost do anything they want without thinking of the consequences. Even if you punish them they still cannot grasp the whole context of your disciplining. But as they grow older, they should gradually learn to take responsibility for their actions. As part of the family, they must know their role and how they can help in creating a stable and happy environment.
It is not merely assigning them household chores but instilling in them that when they fail to pass their subjects they are not allowed to go out with friends. Or when they spill juice on the counter, they must be the ones to clean it up.
Promote a healthy body and mind.
A positive mental health environment at home will always emphasize the importance of a healthy body and mind. At a young age, teach your children how to take good care of their bodies. Discuss with them why they must eat nutritious food and exercise.
On top of these, they must also know that mental health should also be a priority. You need to speak about mental health openly in the family so that your children will be aware that depression and anxiety can happen to anyone.
If you or your children are struggling with depression and anxiety do not hesitate to go to a trusted therapist or counselor. Mindshift Psychological Services can help you manage symptoms of mental health issues that become a distraction to your life. We offer therapy sessions for depression, trauma and other behavioral conditions. Visit our website or contact us at (714) 584-9700 to know more about our services.