An emotionally healthy person is the one who knows how to feel his emotions and express them in a healthy, positive manner. As parents are the first contact that a child has with this world, the emotional health of a person greatly depends upon how he was treated by his parents in his childhood. This also means that the onus of raising healthy and happy children lies to a large extent on the parents. Most of the parents though, might not be equipped to perform this job. Many children today are being raised by single parents, this makes the situation even worse. No wonder, cases of suicide, depression and broken relationships are so rampant in society today. That's why, it is the duty of all parents to gather as much information as they can, through books, Internet or any other resource, to raise emotionally strong and healthy children.
Tips on How to Raise a Healthy Child
Love and Security
The most important thing to do, if you want your children to be emotionally sound, is to give them your unconditional love. Give the children time, be there for them, listen to whatever they have to share and answer all their questions with a smile, however insignificant and stupid you might think they are. Provide your child with a stable, secure, loving, caring and supporting home environment, where both the parents treat each other with love and respect. All these contribute immensely to the emotional well-being of children.
Know your child well. Find out where his interests lie, what are his abilities, likings, hobbies, way of thinking, feelings, etc. Then accordingly, behave and treat your child. Show respect for what he does and who he is. Do not judge him harshly under any circumstances, as he is still forming his views and opinions and is in an experimentation mode. So, give your child respect, and space to find who he is and in return you will get the same kind of respect from him.
Appreciation and Rewards
Parents should praise and reward their child, every time they feel that their child has done something good or has learned something new, and ensure that none of their achievements ever go unnoticed. At the same time, they should not go overboard with it!
Teaching the children responsibility is very important, as it contributes to their emotional growth. Involving them in some household chores, making them responsible for the pet in the house, or for any other thing, ensures that children learn how to think beyond themselves. Deciding on a fixed pocket money and then teaching them how to spend some of it and save some of it, is another good way of making the children responsible.
Expectations and Rules
Forming certain "rules" helps the children in knowing what is expected of them. These "rules" should be formed keeping the age and ability of the child in mind. Children should not only be told of these rules, but should also be made aware how these rules are advantageous for everyone around. Forming such rules will definitely lend a structure to your child's life. He will remain safe, secure, more stable and organized, provided you teach him efficiently how to live within the framework of these rules.
Things to Avoid: As a parent, you are the role model for your children. They observe your each and every behavior and mannerism and start copying it, knowingly or unknowingly. That's why, there are some behavior that all parents should avoid, such as, any sort of aggression, anger, threat, intimidation, spanking, yelling or screaming at the child. Otherwise, children will get the wrong notion that these are the only means to deal with a difficult situation. Instead, parents should teach their children how to solve a problem in a positive way. Children should be taught how to communicate their feelings in the right manner and how to deal with uncomfortable situations, in a mature way.
As a parent it is your duty to ensure that the child feels safe and secure. At the same time, make sure that he gets the taste of the real world from time to time. Never ever try to shield your child from the flaws and dangers around as it can backfire in the long run. If you follow these simple tips, there is no doubt about the fact that your child will grow up to be a strong and confident adult, who has the ability to judge people correctly and who can take his own independent decisions!