May is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health is an important issue for preschoolers. Some studies have shown that as many as 1 in 5 children suffers from some form of mental illness. This can manifest itself in various ways, such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, and more. It's important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of mental illness in children so that you can get them the help they need.
Having good mental health during childhood means reaching developmental and emotional milestones, learning social skills, and knowing how to cope when something goes wrong. Mentally healthy children can function well at home, in school/daycare, and in life.
What are some signs of mental illness in preschoolers?
Mental illness can manifest itself in different ways in preschoolers. Some common signs and symptoms include:
● Excessive crying or mood swings
● Feeling sad or hopeless for an extended period of time
● Having problems sleeping or eating
● Displaying aggressive or violent behavior
● Refusing to participate in normal activities
● Experiencing severe anxiety or panic attacks
● Showing signs of self-harm or suicidal thoughts
Believe it or not, while suicidal thoughts in children are rare, they do indeed exist. If you notice any of these signs in your child, it’s important to get them help right away. Mental illness can be treated and there is no shame in seeking assistance. You are not alone!
Best parenting practices for child mental health
Parents can nurture a child’s mental health by developing a close relationship with them, providing structure and boundaries, encouraging independence, making social connections, teaching healthy habits, and modeling positive behavior.
Encouraging them to express themselves: It’s important to give children the opportunity to express themselves and be independent. This could be through art, music, or simply talking about their day. This will help them to process their thoughts and emotions in a healthy way.
Helping them to stay active: Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and boost mood. Make sure that your child is getting enough physical activity every day.
Provide structure: Having some boundaries and routines in place will make it easier to cope with struggles. This includes boundaries at bedtime, limits on electronics, rules for playtime, and expectations about how we treat others and ourselves.
Model good behavior: A parent plays an essential role in nurturing their child’s mental health by modeling healthy behaviors. This includes being open about your feelings – without oversharing details. It also means showing how you bounce back after making a mistake.
Encouraging healthy eating: Getting children to eat healthy requires lifestyle and attitude shifts, not rules. By avoiding food rules, healthy eating and healthy living sink in naturally.
Puzzles for a child's mental health benefit
Puzzles can also provide children with a sense of calm and relaxation. They can be a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life and to focus on something else. Puzzles can help to improve problem-solving skills and boost self-esteem. They can also be a fun and challenging activity for the whole family to enjoy together.
Puzzles can also be a great way to help children deal with stress. They provide a sense of accomplishment and can help to distract the child from whatever is causing them stress. If you're looking for a puzzle that is specifically designed to help relieve stress, there are a few options available. One is the Bugtastic Floor Puzzle which is designed to help kids focus on something fun like bugs to distract them from what is bothering them. Another is the On the Go Transporation Floor Puzzle, which helps children learn about space and allows their minds to roam in their own creative way.
How to encourage a child to express themselves in a healthy way
It’s important to give children the opportunity to express themselves. This could be through art, music, or simply talking about their day. This will help them to process their thoughts and emotions in a healthy way.
Some ways that you can encourage self-expression in your child include:
● Encouraging them to participate in creative activities such as drawing, painting, or sculpting
● Letting them choose their own clothes or hairstyle
● Signing them up for dance or music classes
● Letting them play with puppets or dolls
● Listening to them when they want to talk
● Not judging or critiquing their expression – just let them be themselves!
While there are many ways to help your child cope, busy parents and teachers are not always available to drop everything and attend to immediate needs. However, we have tools that can help distract our children in a positive way that can help them stay calm while we attend to other needs in our daily life. Puzzles can be a great way to promote good mental health in your child, so why not buy one today?