Your Child and Mental Health

While many adults believe that children live a life of ease, this is certainly not necessarily always true. Your child and mental health is a dynamic world unto it’s own.

Children are not without their own emotional, mental, and physical troubles. Just as with older humans, children are capable of feeling all types of feelings. These include feelings of sadness, hurt, mistrust, anxiety, and anger. In addition, the way that children deal with these feelings can have a huge effect on their emotional health. Children and mental health often reflects greatly on the parental mental health that a child has when he or she become a parent themselves. Kids that grow up in a positive environment are much more likely to be positive adults than those that experience negative emotional mental health during their childhood.

Infant and child mental health establishes a foundation of self-esteem for life.

Children as young as infants are aware of trust and mistrust in others and in self. After a child is only a few months old, their emotional health begins to develop. It is important during infancy that a baby learns he or she can trust the caregiver. The baby needs to know that his or her needs are taken care of when a diaper should be changed or a feeding needs to take place. Infants that go long periods of time without the attention of the caregiver are much more likely not to trust.

Once the infant passes through the stage of placing trust in others, a toddler encounters a stage of emotional mental health called autonomy vs. shame and doubt. During this period, the child needs to feel that he or she is capable of independence. While an infant needed others, toddlers are looking for space to obtain good mental health. When a toddler is not given the opportunity to find independence, he or she often grows up having a lacking self-esteem, feeling ashamed as well as a whole assortment of other mental health issues. Much independence during this stage of life is found through potty training with the toddler taking care of his or her own bathroom needs.

Your child and mental health goes hand in hand with the circumstance of the family environment while growing up.

Initiative verse guilt follows the toddler stage when a child reaches preschool and kindergarten. During this stage, the child emotionally needs to explore others and the world around him or her and begins to become interested in belonging to a group and role-playing within that group. During this stage of life, a person develops much of their background for social interaction. Children who are allowed to explore and interact with others are much more likely to carry over positive social skills into adulthood than those that are secluded from group activities. These others can end up on the opposite side of the spectrum in regards to their social and mental health becoming withdrawn from others.

It is quite apparent that child and adult mental health become synonymous throughout life.

Part of creating a solid foundation in children to carry over into adulthood is allowing children the opportunity to learn how to make choices. Children need to experience the effects that their choices have on their lives. Instead of continually giving a child direction, it is better to give a child options.

When allowed to take some actions into their own hands helps create an emotional mental health framework for the future, Setting boundaries and preparing children for disappointments help children prepare for good mental health and avoidance of mental health issues as an adult. In some cases, children can make choices for themselves. However, children also need to learn that not everything will always be controlled by them. They need to learn to accept the things that they cannot control. A child that learns to cope with disappointment through a caregiver that sets boundaries will grow into an adult with a foundation of more positive emotional mental health than those children that never experience hearing the word “no”. All of this is very critical for child and adolescent development.

While all research indicates that the environment in which a child grows greatly affects his or her emotional mental health, not all parents that fail to properly foster their child’s stages of health are neglectful or bad parents. In fact, many parents struggle with the proper methods they should carry out to help their child grow into a prosperous adult.

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