Children’s mental health has been in the headlines recently. A combination of factors has meant that depression and anxiety are on the rise. Naturally, for parents this is very worrying. No parent wants to think of their child as suffering in any way. This is why it’s vital to help our children grow into happy, healthy individuals.
Teens are particularly susceptible to depression and anxiety among other mental health problems. Already under a lot of pressure due to exams, hormones, and social pressures they are particularly vulnerable to falling prey to mental health problems. The key is to ensure that you have a healthy, open relationship with your teens where heart-to-hearts are commonplace, and your teen knows you are a safe person to confide in.
It’s also very important to encourage teens and children to participate in physical exercise – fresh air and walking in green spaces will have an immediate effect on your teen’s mental health. Scientific research has proven that walking among trees in a natural environment improves mental health almost immediately.
Diet is also a very important factor with a lot of research into the gut brain – this is the idea that what we eat has a direct effect on our brains. Additives, sugar and processed food and drinks all have a negative effect.
Try helping your teenager to reduce their intake of processed foods by ensuring you always have healthy snacks available. Teens eat a lot and need quite a lot of calories through a day so good snacks include the following.
- Unsalted nuts
- Hard boiled eggs
A healthy diet and exercise routine are the most powerful tools a parent has in the battle against mental health issues for teens and children.
Problems with friends can cause a lot of mental health problems so it’s vital that you help your child to make and keep friends. Speak to small children about what makes a good friend. When they’re very small it can be difficult for some children to differentiate between a friend and someone who is taking advantage of them.
Learning the three Cs can help if your child is struggling to make friends. Let them know that the three Cs show what most people look for in a friend.
If your child is having issues at school, speak to their teacher and always stay in touch with form tutors once your child reaches secondary school age. This independent school in Potters Bar actively encourages children to share their troubles and the supportive environment provided is certainly a part of the strong results and happy students there.