It is how we are feeling and coping with the things we face everyday that shapes our mental health. Just like physical health, sometimes it is good, and at other times it is not so good. Welcome to #HealthMattersWithDrWeyoms
As a parent or guardian of a children, you can play an important role in supporting children’s mental health wellbeing. You can do this by having an active involvement in their mental wellbeing; it might seem difficult to practice this in our setting as Africans but by being actively involved you could help prevent mental health issues later on in life.
So getting actively involved children’s mental health can happen in simple ways.
One of the ways to be involved is to have a connection with your children. You have to take time to talk about feelings and be patient in listening, don’t start yelling when they start talking.
Don’t start shouting about the rules you have laid down. You will lose trust and they might not want to talk with you anymore. So be patient, make it a conversation as friend to friend.
I know some African parents think it is a taboo to be your child’s friend, they think fear will instill respect or portraying that very authoritarian position will make them better children, you may do more damage with this method.
Sharing meals with your children is also a way to connect with them. Yes we say don’t talk at the table but some conversations start at the table.
Find activities that you can enjoy as a family. It could be swimming, ludo, tennis, Scrabble, football and so many other beautiful activities.
I know security is a big issue for us these days but you can still do this one. Encourage them to see their friends outside schools. They could meet at a park or art gallery somewhere safe and if you can be there to safeguard them. It encourages spending less time on the phone, being online or watching TV all the time especially during weekends.
So this week, start a conversation with your children, share a meal with them, play a game and maybe at weekend do something with another family friend.
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