Emotionally Stable Children
According to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1 out of every 10 children are affected by emotional disorders at any given time. Emotional stability is integral to your child’s well being. Yet, it is increasingly easy for parents to overlook their children’s feelings while they focus on nurturing good behaviour. Here are some techniques to help you raise an emotionally healthy child:
1. Foster Open Communication
Encourage your children to speak to you from an early age. This calls for you to spend more time with them and to engage in truly bonding activities. It is much easier to foster open communication between you and a 3 year old than it is to start when your child is 13 years old. You can never be too busy for your children. Even if you have tight schedules, deliberately include spending time with your children in your schedule. Find a suitable time to talk, for example, when they come home from school, at dinnertime or when they are preparing to sleep. To foster an environment of open communication, make it a routine to ask your child how his day was and ask him often how he feels. Let your children know that they can talk to you about anything and that you can make time to listen.
2. Be Less Judgemental
If your child tells you something, try to empathize rather than lash at him even if what he says is off base. If you tell your child that, he can talk to you about anything and then you start to judge him when he does, he will surely not want to express his emotions anymore. As a loving parent, it is important that you cultivate the virtue of listening if you really want to help your children to manage their feelings. Let your child feel that he can trust you and show that you do understand what he is going through. Sometimes, all you need to do is listen, show empathy and patience and offer a hug to make your child feel better.
3. Adopt An Authoritative Parenting Style
An authoritative parenting style is more effective than an authoritarian or permissive type of parenting. Children are less likely to speak openly with their strict authoritarian parents and will keep their emotional struggles to themselves for fear of being judged. Children with permissive parents will often feel as though their parents are not adequately involved in their lives. As such, these children lack the much-needed connection with their parents to talk about their feelings. Authoritative parents on the other hand set limits but seek to connect with their children and work towards open communication. If you are too harsh with your child, re-evaluate your approach to enable your child to feel that he has someone whom he can share his feelings with. If you are too permissive, be the parent; work towards establishing a deeper connection with your child so you can keep tabs with what is going on in his life.
4. Help To Boost Self-Esteem
Emotional imbalance can be triggered by low self-esteem, and indeed, low self-esteem can lead to emotional problems. Early in life, help your child to value himself by pointing out his good qualities, encouraging him to participate in activities that will boost his sense of accomplishment, allow him to make mistake, be less critical and more importantly, show him affection. A child with a good sense of self-worth will know how to deal with the challenges of growing up and will fell less inclined to indulge in risky behavior (a sign of emotional imbalance) just to feel good about himself.