Raising Your Kid Healthy Mentally And Physically: What A Modern Parent Should Know

Bursting with courage, confidence and resilience, mentally strong kids are going to change the world. It’s not about suppressing emotions or acting tough. It’s not even about being unkind or defiant. Instead, it all comes down to how you raise your children to reach their full potential.

Challenges and hardship are all part of life. In a society that expects so much from young minds, giving your kid the right tools to get ahead of the game will set them up for life.

Modern parenting doesn’t need to be overwhelming. With that in mind, here are a few tips that you should know:

Emotions aren’t a weakness

From the moment your babe is born to navigating their teenage years, your kid’s brain development has a lot of work to do. Understanding emotions – how they function, what they mean, and controlling them are all skills we learn throughout life. Expecting your child to stop crying because you say so is not a strategy that will get you far. 

Showing your child how to embrace their emotions, how to stay level headed and be realistic about life and its problems is no small feat. It is, however, possible. 

With the right discipline, parenting strategy, and teaching, your kid’s mental and physical health will thrive. 

Let your child make mistakes

Failure, like emotion, is not a weakness. It tests us to become better versions of ourselves, and without making any mistakes, your kid’s grip of reality is going to suffer. Teaching your child that making a mistake is all part of learning will take away any feelings of shame or embarrassment they might feel as a result. 

From the tree climber to the river explorer, the tightrope walker, to the wave enthusiast, all kids need to learn the natural consequences of their actions. So let them see for themselves what will happen if it is safe to do so. Afterwards, you can start a conversation:

  • What went wrong? 
  • Why do you think that happened? 
  • What could you do next time instead?

The whole point of learning is that you grow in your understanding. Overcoming our mistakes is all part of the process. So don’t let your child suffer for doing something wrong. Instead, seek to teach them specific skills like problem solving and self-discipline. 

Facing fear

Wanting to comfort your child in times of distress will always be a hard line to balance. If your kid can never handle being uncomfortable, they are unlikely to gain the confidence they need to overcome their fear. 

Your child might be terrified of the dark and won’t sleep without knowing you are nearby or even in the same room as them. If that’s the case, try these strategies to help:

  • Make them feel comfortable in their own space – let them play in their room during the day, have dim lighting like fairy lights for the night and set their favorite cuddly toys on their bed
  • Get a weighted blanket – designed with deep pressure stimulation; a weighted blanket feels like a warm hug as you sleep. Perfect for kids that need extra comfort to get to sleep. You’ll find their quality of sleep improves, and in turn, they will be less tired to face the challenges of their day
  • Stick to a bedtime routine – kids love routine. It allows them to know what to expect during their day and instils patterns of behavior that will last a lifetime. From brushing their teeth to having a bath, getting ready for bed and having a story, bedtime routines don’t need to be challenging!
  • Praise achievements – cheering your kid on and rewarding bravery will reinforce the idea that your kid is capable and they can handle stepping out of their comfort zone. Sticker charts, pom-pom jars and the like all add to the fun and will strengthen your child’s confidence

It’s ok to let your kid lose, feel bored and take responsibility for their actions. With the proper teaching and discipline from you, their mental and physical strength will pay dividends. 

Let them talk it out

Holding on to worries or concerns for anyone puts a strain on their health and wellbeing. Your kid is no different. From playground battles to put-downs, facing hardships in places where your child should feel safe can leave them feeling unsettled and have a lasting impact on their health and wellbeing. 

Set aside parts of your day to let your kid speak. Let them air their grievances, what’s made them smile, what’s made them want to lash out or cry. By giving your kid time, you are not only reframing negative thoughts, but you are giving them an opportunity to think more realistically. If they can’t come to you, who else will listen?

Being confident in your parents and how they respond and behave in front of you as a kid is foundational to how your child will see the world. Developing healthy strategies in their formative years will give them a better chance of getting through tough times. 

Encourage gratitude

Too often, we take the good things in our lives for granted. Spending time with loved ones, thoughtful gifts and experiences all play a role in your child’s life. When we take these things for granted, the opportunity for building mental strength is lost. 

Gratitude should be at the heart of modern parenting. Affirming what’s good in your kid’s life will show them how much they have to be thankful for on their worst days. 

Affirmation not excuses

Overexplaining your mistakes is detrimental to building mental strength. Your kid doesn’t need to make excuses for their behavior and errors, and neither do you. 

Accepting personal responsibility for your actions not only shows emotional growth but allows for empathy to build in your kid’s mindset. So allow for explanations from your child, but don’t let them rely on excuses. 

Modern parenthood undeniably has its highs and lows, but you are your kid’s ultimate role model. You set the boundaries, you offer unconditional love, and you accept your child’s faults and mistakes. Teaching life skills starts at home with you. Raising a mentally strong child will set your kid up for life!

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