Promoting Positive Mental Health Activities for Kids

The world is a big, big place for toddlers, that they’re just beginning to discover. This means that in addition to the moments of joy and laughter, there will likely be a bit of disappointment and sadness along the way. Prioritizing mental health and development is key to growing into happy and healthy individuals. So, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s remind ourselves why taking care of our mental health is so important — especially for kids. 

When it seems like emotions are positive and energy is high, it is still ideal to be proactive about building healthy habits that help your child learn to communicate and process their feelings. Mental health activities for kids can be game-changing in terms of achieving positive mental development. Something as simple as words of affirmation for kids, can change their perspective and shape them to be happier and healthier individuals in the long term. Keep reading for tactics for building positive mental development for toddlers!

Dealing with Emotions

For children, understanding complex emotions is an acquired skill. As kids reach new developmental milestones they also begin to experience and understand their feelings in new ways. It might surprise you that children can experience feelings of sadness, anxiety, and depression even at young ages. As a parent, attempting to prevent these emotions in the first place is simply not enough to protect the mental health of your child. Instead, engaging in positive mental health activities for kids can actually equip them with the skills they need to prevent these emotions for themselves as much as possible, and to deal with them in a healthy way when they arise. 

Try to make it a habit to have discussions with your child about how they are feeling and explain to them the normalcy of these emotions. Help your little one talk through what they are experiencing and come up with ways to process the negative emotions. If you notice any extreme or recurring negative emotions, discuss your concerns with your child’s pediatrician.

Words of Affirmation for Kids

Regular practice of happy reminders and other positive affirmations for kids is an excellent way to encourage your child to achieve mental health and development. Make it a routine with simple things like happy notes in your child’s lunchbox or loving messages before bedtime. These habits can shape their opinion about themselves and the world around them. 

These easy and fun tactics can help to build confidence for kids every day. For example, if your child is struggling with school, repeating phrases like “I am smart,” “I am creative,” and “I have great ideas” can be an excellent way to get your child to increase positive emotions about school and about themself. This is also a great way for you to show your child your love and support by reminding them that they are loved!

Encouraging Self-Expression

As children grow and start forming their identities, encouraging individualism is a beautiful way to practice positive mental health activities for kids. Everything from choosing healthy food options to what to wear to school can be an opportunity for your child to express themselves and grow each day.

For example, letting your little one choose what toys they are interested in can help them learn not only to make decisions for themselves but also to express their interests and who they want to be. These easy exercises allow your child to begin to form a sense of self and independence. This is also a great chance for you to learn more about the things your child likes and is interested in so that you can support them when they make positive and happy choices.

As a part of Mental Health Awareness Month, Coastal Kids Pediatrics encourages you to work proactively as a family on your mental health. Our team of skilled doctors is here for your child for both their physical and mental wellness, so call or visit us online to schedule an appointment!