All children go through stages of development, and their mental health can change as they grow. You can observe four signs of good mental health in a child who is active and full of life. Their behavior is predictable and they can positively deal with everyday life.
Good mental health is as important as good physical health to a child’s development. According to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five adults suffered from mental health issues in 2020. That means 52.9 million or 21% of adults in the United States experienced psychological problems.
Every child is unique and every child has their way to express themselves. All children go through a certain set of milestones while growing up. These are very important phases that every parent should watch out for as they could be signs of certain mental or behavioral disorders.
Four signs of good mental health in a child
Are you looking for four signs of good mental health in a child? Here are four signs that suggest that your child’s mental health is sound:
1) You sense their understanding of themselves slowly growing
The first sign is that the child sees herself or himself slowly growing and becoming more capable. They see that they have some control over their environment, their lives, and what they do.
When a child is going through a period of good mental health, she or he will be able to see that she or he can handle things better than before.
This also means that when things do not go as planned, the child still feels sure of themselves and confident in their abilities to face what’s ahead.
There is nothing like seeing your child happy and in good spirits. That’s a sign of good mental health, too! When you see your child laughing and enjoying themselves without worrying about anything else, it is a sure sign they are in good mental health.
It’s great when your child can play with friends or family members without having to worry about any problems going on in their lives. This shows that your child knows how important it is to relax and have fun from time to time.
2) You see the people around them taking an interest in them
When you see the people around your child taking an interest in them and enjoying their company, it can be a great sign that your child is doing well.
If they can socialize and enjoy spending time with others, they are likely to feel more supported and better about themselves as a whole. This can also help them to develop their social skills so they may be more confident in dealing with other people.
Children with a lot of people around them are more likely to enjoy life and to learn how to get along with others. Children’s mental health is improved by having lots of contact with others, so it’s a good thing if they have friends and family members who are interested in them.
3) They can tolerate frustration and disappointment
When a child can tolerate frustration and disappointment, it’s a sign of good mental health. It’s also a sign that you are raising a child who can deal with life.
So when your child gets frustrated, don’t rush in to fix the problem for them. Instead, ask them what they think might work. For example: “You’re getting so upset; I wonder if you could try it another way.”
This encourages children to be creative when solving problems, rather than just whining or throwing things in frustration. If it’s too easy for kids to get what they want, we don’t expect them to be good at dealing with things going wrong.
4) They recover from challenging experiences with resilience
It’s a good mental health sign when your child recovers from challenging experiences with resilience. This means they can overcome obstacles and bounce back from tough situations.
Resilience is the ability to adapt well to significant challenges, such as chronic illness, emotional trauma, poverty, or other difficult circumstances.
Children who have resilience:
- Express feelings freely
- Adapt easily to new environments and people
- Bounce back from disappointments and setbacks
- Develop confidence in their abilities and a sense of self-worth
- Feel connected to others and trust that other people will be responsive to their needs and concerns
Resilience is not something that you have or don’t have. Resilience can be developed and strengthened through time, experience, and developing skills.
Resilient children are often described as being: happy, confident, self-reliant, outgoing, enthusiastic, curious, interested in new things, and able to cope with change.
How to identify mental health problems in children
There are lots of conditions that could be affecting a child’s mental health, but the most common ones include:
Anxiety: Children can experience anxiety in different ways. It can be specific to certain situations or things, or it can be more generalized.
Depression: This is more than just feeling sad – it’s when those feelings of sadness stick around for a long time and start to interfere with their day-to-day life.
ADHD: This stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and means that children find it hard to concentrate. They might also have trouble controlling their impulses and feel restless.
Eating disorders: This is when someone has an unhealthy relationship with food, which can lead them to eat too much, too little, or in an unhealthy way.
Autism: Children with autism have difficulty communicating and interacting with others, and they often behave differently from other people their age.
If you observe any of the above said mental health problems, act fast to have them fixed to save your child.