Love them unconditionally: No matter how many toys you buy or PlayStations you gift them, children crave nothing, but unconditional and selfless love, and they need it consistently. If your child makes a mistake, don’t reprimand him/her, let them know you are still around for love and support. Research show, kids who are constantly compared to their peers by their parents, grow up to be resentful adults.
Feed them wisely: If you constantly feed your little one with comfort foods like burgers, colas and pizzas, it can cause a serious mental health imbalance. Research shows, a diet rich in processed-food causes increased mood swings and even depression among children. This is because a large chunk of serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression and aggression, is found in the intestines, not the brain. Therefore, even if it takes time, cook them a nice meal and steer clear of junk options. But more importantly, get them to eat on time. If a child goes too long without eating, it may lead to fluctuations in blood sugar levels, causing irritability. Children need to refuel their growing bodies on a regular schedule, so keep your child’s meal times consistent.
Emotional Expression: The next time your kid throws a tantrum, don’t reach out for the stick. Instead, let him vent. Children need to cry, scream, stomp their feet and run around with excitement. This is how they express their emotions, which doctors say is healthy for emotional development and will prevent a lifetime of internalising negative emotions.
Make time for play: Unstructured playtime is essential for kids to build their imagination, relieve stress and simply be. However, kids these days seem to be busier than their parents. They hardly have time to eat, let alone free time for play. Pushy parents, cut out unnecessary activity classes. Instead, invite the kids who live around you over and provide them with simple toys like blocks and dolls that allow for creative play.
Hear them out: The next time you surf the Internet and simultaneously hear your child out, be mindful. Kids are quick to gauge when you’re paying attention to them, and when you are not. So, when you are spending time with them, be mentally present too
Be happy yourself: Happy parents make happy children. If you’re constantly stressed and angry, your child will sense this and turn anxious. Likewise, if you keep grumbling about your situation, the child will learn to do the same. You are your child’s first role model, so set an example, and no matter how hard life gets, or how many challenges it throws up, sail through with a smile.
Regular sleep: Too little sleep not only makes kids grouchy and causes mood swings, it also negatively impacts their behaviour and attention. Studies suggest, children between five and 10 years need at least 10-11 hours of sleep a night for optimal mood and health. To help your child get a good night’s sleep, keep the TV, computer, video games and tablets away from your child’s bedroom.