As parents, our primary concern is our child’s well-being. We ensure they eat well, stay physically healthy, and receive a good education. But what about their mental health? It’s a topic that sometimes gets overlooked, especially when it comes to young children. However, science has shown that even toddlers as young as two years old can experience depression. It’s crucial for us to recognize and address their mental health needs from an early age. Hence, to understand childhood development, it is necessary to know more about early childhood education. Use these tips to help your child during this tough phase:
1. Observe and Connect with Art
The first step is to observe your child closely for any changes in behaviour. Depression in children can manifest as sudden introversion, a reluctance to go out and play, or changes in eating habits. However, young children often struggle to articulate their feelings. This is where art therapy can be a game-changer.
Give your child a piece of paper and some crayons or markers. Ask them to draw what’s troubling them. Art provides an outlet for them to express their emotions when words fail. After they’ve drawn, sit down and have a conversation about their artwork. You’ll be surprised how this simple act can open the door to discussing their emotions and fears.
2. Physical Activity for Mental Well-being
Physical health and mental health are deeply interconnected. Encourage your child to engage in physical activities regularly. The more they play and explore outdoors, the better it is for their mental health. Fresh air and physical exercise go hand in hand.
Take them to the park, let them run, jump, and play. These activities release endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. It’s important to note that air-conditioned malls don’t offer the same benefits. Fresh air is vital for their overall health.
3. Breathing Techniques
Teaching your child simple breathing techniques can be incredibly calming. Try the “breathing hand” technique. Show them how to take a deep breath in as they touch each finger and exhale as they release it. This technique helps children relax and manage their emotions.
Additionally, it’s a useful tool for you as well. Parenting can be challenging, and practising these techniques together can benefit both you and your child. It’s a shared activity that fosters a sense of togetherness.
At Podar Prep preschool, we try to develop holistic learning and prioritise your child’s mental health as important as their physical health. By observing their behaviour, using art therapy as a communication tool, ensuring regular physical activity, and teaching simple breathing techniques, you can create a supportive environment for your child to thrive mentally and emotionally. Remember, you’re not alone on this journey; we’re here to help you navigate it.
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