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Why Children Should Be Taught The Importance Of Mental Health Early On

Mental health is a growing concern so isn’t it time for children to learn and understand it? We think so, and here are three reasons why.

29-09-2020

Mental health is a growing concern worldwide and not just in adults - in children as well.

Largely believed to be brought on as a result of excessive social media use and the growing use of technology, more and more children are now developing mental health disorders earlier on than before, often struggling with anxiety, bipolar and eating disorders as a result. 

One of the key difficulties with this is the fact that, due to their brains being somewhat underdeveloped, many children don’t understand what it is they’re going through and, therefore, are unable to develop a sufficient coping mechanism in response. 

This is something you, as a parent, will need to help them to discover; listed below are three key reasons as to why. 

It Can Develop Their Theory Of Mind 

Put simply, the better your children can understand their own way of thinking, the easier it will be for them to relate to others. 

Therefore, by taking the time to teach your children about why we all suddenly go through periods of angst, worry and self-doubt, this could not only help them appreciate that it’s not just them who struggle with these feelings, but it could also teach them to develop feelings of empathy for other people. 

As a result, their theory of mind will improve, since they’ll be able to appreciate the reasons behind why someone may or may not be feeling the way that they do. 

Mental Health Conditions Are Becoming More Common 

Across the globe, mental health is being talked about more openly than ever before. So, doesn’t it make sense to extend that conversation to your children? 

Many mental health disorders typically develop during adolescence as well, so the more prepared they are in advance, the better equipped they’ll be to deal with it if and when it comes. 

Plus, according to statistics, one in five adolescents live with a mental health condition but less than half of these individuals actually receive the care they need. Left undiagnosed or untreated, these conditions can then quickly manifest into bigger issues, affecting that child's ability to learn, grow and develop. Therefore, by teaching them about mental health at a younger age, this could prevent a condition developing later on in their life. 

There Is A Greater Societal Pressure Nowadays 

With the expanse of the internet and the number of different sources flooding information into their maturing brains, life can be a confusing and fairly overwhelming thing for your children to navigate. Therefore, teaching your children how to overcome these feelings is simply a must. 

Stressful decisions are a part of life, after all, so by equipping your children with the necessary skills to turn this stress into a positive, this could put them in a much better position later on in life. 

What’s more, your children need to know that it’s OK to be stressed and it's OK to communicate their feelings. They also need to understand that, while it may not necessarily be seen as a good thing, failure is ultimately something they can learn from instead of feeling down about - and the younger they can learn this, the better. 

If you’re keen to teach your children about the importance of mental health, why not take a look at our Facebook community page for further advice? Here you will be able to share your thoughts with other parents and identify some of the best methods to think about using.