Purposeful Parenting Month: Parents’ role in a child’s mental health

The importance of maintaining good mental health goes beyond preventing mental illness or disorder. Mental health contributes to an individual’s social and cognitive development, right from a very tender age. As appropriately put by the World Health Organization (WHO), “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

The seed of good mental health is to be planted as early as in the childhood. Parents happen to be the most powerful catalysts in promoting good mental health in their children’s lives.

Purposeful parenting as a tool to promote mental health

Parenting is undoubtedly a challenging task, yet a rewarding one if it is done in the right way. Parents are not just responsible for their children’s physical needs, they also play an important role in helping their children become what they are capable of.

In the nutshell, purposeful parenting is all about preparing children to achieve the best life possible. It takes parents to be active and engaged in a strong and healthy relationship with their children.

Purposeful parenting and mental health are closely associated. A healthy parent-child two-way communication can minimize the risk of mental disorder, substance abuse, early pregnancy and violence in children or adults.

Detecting mental health problem in children

Depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are some of the common mental health problems in American kids. The occurrence of mental health issues can be prevented, as well as treated, with parents implementing a purposeful approach toward parenting.

Parenting is a holistic as well as the most rewarding job. Right from meeting a child’s basic and physical needs to making sure his or her psychological needs are also getting fulfilled, parents carry a huge responsibility of raising their ward to be a healthy being. A proactive parent will come to know when a child has a mental health problem.

Nevertheless, here are a few signs that indicate a mental health problem in children:

  • Changes in behavior and conduct like overreacting, emotional vulnerability, difficulty in gelling with peers, etc.
  • Changes in the way they think about themselves, low self-esteem, negative thoughts, etc.
  • Physical changes, like lack of energy, unusual sleeping and eating patterns, general aches and pains, thumb-sucking, nail biting, etc.

It does not mean that children who exhibit above signs are prone to mental disorder, but it is important to understand a child’s mind and seek professional help if needed.

Key to healthy parent-child relationship

Two-way communication: Parents should employ a way to keep an open communication or regular conversation with their children. The discussions may also revolve around drugs and alcohol, but the purpose of such conversations should be to make their children aware of the downside of consuming drugs and alcohol.

Family values: Instilling family values in children is very important in order to make them realize that they have people who would listen to their things – good and bad. Children with a happy and healthy family are less likely to get attracted to things that have negative impact on their holistic development.

Healthy environment: The childhood should be devoid of emotional disturbances. An environment where they can experience love, trust, understanding and compassion can be instrumental in shaping up a positive mental health.

Seeking treatment

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared the month of July as the National Purposeful Parenting Month, so that parents get a chance to understand their kids and know how they feel about certain issues in life. All parents must allow themselves to be more purposeful in order to help their wards live up to their full potential.

Getting rid of mental health problems is possible. For that, parents and families need to be little more careful in raising their kids. If it is a case of a mental health issue, professional assistance is also available.

The 24/7 Mental Health Helpline provides the necessary information about various mental health services available in your vicinity. You may call at the 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online for further expert advice on various mental health facilities.