How to Foster Positive Mental Health in Young Children

By Victoria Smith

Photo by Eren Li on Pexels.com

If you talk to most adults who’ve gone through therapy, they’ll tell you that a lot of therapy sessions are focused on what happened during their childhood years. The childhood years are the formulaic foundation for the rest of a person’s life. While you can’t control their actions and decisions, you can provide a good foundation in their childhood years. Consider some of the best ways to foster positive mental health in your young children.

1. Prioritize Adequate Rest, Nutrition, and Natural Light

The H.A.L.T. method is an acronym that helps people monitor their mental and physical health. If you’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (H.A.L.T.), you’re more likely to make poor decisions. Especially when children are young, they’re learning how to manage their emotions. This is one of the reasons why the timeframe that’s known as the “Terrible Twos” can be so tough. However, it’s important to teach your children to communicate their needs. Sometimes, a child is having a tantrum because they’re lonely and feel like they haven’t gotten enough quality time with you. If you’re spending hours at the computer, schedule more breaks to read a book with your child, take a walk, or do a different activity that they love.

2. Create a Safe Space for Open, Honest Communication

From a young age, children quickly learn the importance of protecting the feelings of others. They learn how to hide their emotions in order to avoid hurting someone else. While they may not have mastered filtered responses the way adults do, don’t be surprised by how much children can keep to themselves in order to protect the feelings of others. While it’s good to be thoughtful, you do want your children to be honest and open about their feelings. Foster a good sense of communication with each other. If you want your children to be open and honest with you, you also have to make sure you’re non-judgemental. If your children feel as though they’ll be punished if they’re open and honest, they’re less likely to do it.

3. Learn More About Various Disorders

Educate yourself on the various ways different mental health disorders can develop. It’s also important to pay attention to the signs of a developing illness. It’s possible for children to be depressed or anxious. It’s important to recognize it as it develops because it’s often viewed as a child being disagreeable or disobedient. Many mental health professionals like Dr. Ramani Durvasula continue to relentlessly fight against the raging epidemic of narcissism. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is severely underdiagnosed because many people don’t realize the severity of it. However, a narcissistic personality disorder is actually developed in childhood years. By providing a healthy emotional foundation, you may be able help your child avoid the snares of a disorder or a mental breakdown in the future.

4. Prioritize Your Own Mental Health Routine

Your children can learn so much from you. What they see you do, they’ll naturally emulate. If they see you taking time to prioritize self-care, therapy sessions, and a thoughtful way of living, know that it will impact their lives as well. As their parent, you are your children’s greatest teacher. Lead by example. By prioritizing your own mental health, you’ll teach your children to do the same. Whether they recognize it as children or as adults, your habits will influence their future habits.

While these tips can be incredibly effective in creating a beautiful experience for young children, be mindful that there will be times when you make mistakes. If you make a mistake, you can learn from it and try to do better. By utilizing these tips and strategies to provide and foster a healthy space for mental wellness, you’re doing your part to make sure your children can soar as individuals in the world.

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Productive Personality Development Activities You Can Do With Your Child This Summer.

By Samidha Raj

Photo by Tatiana Twinslol on Pexels.com

Summer is a great time to plan new activities with your children. With schools off, children have plenty of time for fun and learning activities that you can do together. You can choose from a plethora of activities that are fun for the whole family. Summer can also be a great time to engage in productive activities for a child’s personality development. Such activities are crucial to develop your child’s confidence, communication skills, and most importantly, to help parents understand their child’s dominant personality traits.

Personality development activities are great for parents and children to know each other better and bond with one another. This bonding can be essential for raising your child better while engaging your child in productive activities that don’t rely on technology. So go ahead and try the activities listed below to develop your child’s social and personality skills over the summer break – 

Get Artsy

Art is a beautiful form of expression that brings out the creativity in children. Asking your child to draw something that gives them joy or something they fear can give you insights into their creativity. Art is also an excellent way to stimulate your child’s imagination. Children who speak less find it easier to express their thoughts through art, and in turn, it can help you understand your child better. Art is a crucial part of personality development for children.

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Reading Books

It may sound simple, but reading with your child from a young age can contribute significantly to your child’s personality development. Reading at bedtime can be a routine activity, but you can find more time to read with children in the summers. Experiment with new kinds of books that your child has never read before. New books can give your child food for thought and enhance their thinking. Introduce new concepts through storybooks and discuss them with your child. Reading for kids helps them develop a reading habit for life, builds vocabulary, and improves communication skills.

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Prepare Your Child For the Stage

Play pretend with your child as they are the star of the show on a stage, while you and the other family members are the audiences. Give your child a mic to play with or to sing into. A lot of children get stage fright just because they have never seen a mic before. Such activities will help your children overcome stage fright and encourage them to participate in school-stage activities.

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Educational Games

Find new games that are not only fun but also help your child learn in the process. There are many games such as puzzles, quiz games, and word games like scrabble that the whole family can play together. Such games help in stimulating your child’s thinking and enhance their problem-solving abilities. If your child needs more practice in a particular subject, pick games that allow children to practice skills in that area, such as math games or science experiments. 

Journaling

Maintaining a journal is an excellent habit for everyone to sort their thoughts and introspect. Start this habit early by encouraging your child to write a journal describing their day. Encourage them to write about anything new that they did or anything memorable. Journaling can help your child express thoughts that they are unable to say aloud and develop their writing skills. Writing a diary can also be an excellent way for children to unwind at the end of the day.

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Personality development for children is not a goal that can be attained overnight. Parents need to make continuous efforts throughout the child’s schooling years to help them attain the skills they need to become responsible adults. Summer is a great time to focus on other aspects of your child’s learning that are not taught in a classroom. Whatever activity you choose, think about how it can be productive and fun for your children.

Every child is different, and you may need to come up with new ideas that suit your child’s interests. Make sure to try some of the activities listed above and see the results.

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Last-Minute Shopping for the New Family Member

By Katie Tejada

When your little one is about to come home for the first time, your to-do list for preparing can feel endless. You only really need clothes, food, and shelter for a new baby — but it’s the 21st century, and there are a variety of products available to make your life with your new bundle of joy so much easier!

Not sure where to start? We’ll discuss some must-have items for taking care of your new family member, as well as things you can get at the last minute that you may not have thought of before.

  1. Zip-Up Onesies

You can never have too many clothes for your newborn. These are the outfits your little one will be wearing most of the time, and chances are you’ll be going through them quickly. Babies seemingly double in size overnight, so you’ll want to have lots of options available in different colors and sizes.

When choosing a onesie for your newborn, you’ll inevitably have to decide between zippers and snap buttons. While snap buttons are the more common option, most parents will tell you that no one likes to wake up in the middle of the night and snap a bunch of buttons together when they’re half asleep. With zip-up onesies, you’ll have a much easier time dressing and undressing your baby, which you’ll be thankful for when you’re busy dealing with a thousand other things.

  1. Plushies

Stuffed animals are a popular toy for children of all ages, and they’re guaranteed to become your baby’s favorite comfort object. They come in all different shapes and sizes, from licensed characters to adorable animals. Whether you want tutu-wearing rabbits or funky, rainbow-colored characters, the possibilities are truly endless and depend only on your personal taste.

These toys are seriously cute, entertaining, and will make a fun addition to any newborn’s nursery. Begin building your child’s collection of plushies today!

  1. Blankets and Rattles

Beyond stuffed animals and onesies, you’ll want to make sure your child has other comfort objects and sources of stimulation, like a baby blanket and rattle set. Rattles make noise to entertain your newborn and encourage their brain’s development. Tracking the sounds the rattle makes can help your child improve their hand-eye coordination while grasping and releasing it can strengthen their fine motor skills. Most rattles double as teething toys, as well, with textured edges that will soothe your baby’s aching gums as they grow.

By combining these rattles with an adorable, super-soft blanket, you’re sure to keep your newborn happy and entertained. They may even fall asleep curled up with their new, fuzzy blanket.

  1. Baby Bracelets

These baby bracelets aren’t an absolute necessity, but they would make a great last-minute present for any newborn. These delicate, beautiful pieces come in a variety of colors and feature unique charms. They’re a sweet gift that can be passed down for generations to come, and they’re perfect for baptisms, first birthdays, and other important events in your child’s life. Just be aware they can present a choking hazard so may be best displayed rather than worn for the first few years.

  1. Lots of Diapers

Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to make sure that you have the true essentials before bringing your little one home. Odds are you’ve already stocked up on diapers (or had others buy them for you), but if not, you’re going to need them! From sustainable diapers with colorful prints to classic disposable diapers from the grocery store, there are tons of options to choose from to keep your little one clean and dry. 

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Stay Prepared

No matter how prepared you think you are, there will always be something you’re missing when that magic moment finally arrives. Zip-up onesies and extra diapers are essential for keeping your little one looking fresh and feeling clean, while plushies, blankets, and rattles help them stay cozy and entertained throughout the day. To commemorate special occasions, like their first night at home, a delicate baby bracelet may be the perfect gift.

With this list, you’ll be one step closer to making sure your new baby has absolutely everything they need to feel safe, warm, and welcome in your home. Are there any items you think we’re missing? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below!

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Foods for Your Kid’s Dental Health

By Dr Anu Isaac

As a parent, you are always on the lookout for nourishing food for your kids. And one of your primary concerns is often your kids’ healthy teeth. So we are here for all the parents who want to ensure that their kids grow up with healthy and strong teeth.

Food is a significant factor for a child’s overall development. Certain foods are beneficial for the dental health of kids, while some are bad for your teeth. Let’s find out more about the connection between nutrition and the oral health of your kids.

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Educate Your Child About Healthy Food

It is better to help kids learn about nutrition rather than merely telling them what to eat and what not to eat. Explain to them that the kind of food they eat directly impacts their dental and overall health.

Try to include food in your kids’ diets with high nutrition and antioxidants. It improves their immunity and provides healthy gums and teeth.

Foods for Good Dental Health of Your Kids

Fruits & Vegetables

Encourage your kids to eat crunchy fruits and veggies like apple, carrot, and celery. They clean the teeth and stimulate gums with their fiber content. Also, promote veggies and fruits with high water content like melons, cucumber, and pears. They produce saliva, which flushes down remaining food particles and bacteria.

Green Vegetables

Green vegetables like spinach and kale are great for your kids. They contain lots of calcium, nutrients, vitamins and minerals to strengthen bones. In addition, green leafy veggies are great for your kids’ healthy teeth as they help build up strong tooth enamel.

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Calcium-rich Diet

Dairy products are excellent sources of calcium, vitamin D, protein, and other nutrients essential for building strong enamel and teeth. Include low-fat cheese, yogurt, and milk in your kid’s diet. Along with calcium, the probiotics in yogurt also help in fighting the bacteria.

Foods Containing Protein

Protein is also required for generating tooth enamel. Encourage your kids to eat protein-rich foods for good dental health. Chicken, turkey, lean meat, peanut butter, and nuts contain protein in abundance. Include these food items in your kids’ diet.

Cheese

The raised PH level in your kid’s mouth due to cheese prevents it from bacteria and cavities. So include cheese in a varied diet.

Bad Food for Teeth & Gums of Kids

Chewy & Sticky Food

Sticky food doesn’t get clean quickly and generates bacteria in the mouth. Keep your kids away from raisins, jelly beans, syrups, and other chewy and sticky food items.

Sugary Food & Beverages

Sugar lingers onto your kid’s teeth and forms cavities. It’s crucial for your kid’s dental health to stay away from sugary food and drinks like candies, sports drinks, colas, etc.

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Carbohydrate & Starch

The snacks for kids in the market are full of carbohydrates and starch, like chips, pasta, burgers, etc. The remaining particles of such food can convert into sugar. Limit consumption of these food items.

Citrus Fruits

Yes, they contain vitamin C, but they also contain acid, which can cause significant harm to the enamel. So give your child citrus fruits like lemon, orange, tomato, etc., in moderation with other food.

Conclusion

Encourage healthy eating in your kids. And tell them to brush immediately after eating any food which is bad for their teeth. Besides nutritious food, maintaining oral hygiene daily and regular dental check-ups are vital for your kid’s dental health.

Photo by Jane D. on Pexels.com

Author Bio:

Dr. Anu Isaac, DMD, runs a successful dental practice in Salem, MA. Dr. Isaac strives for quality on a daily basis and this commitment to quality is reflected in her constant pursuit of advanced training. Her firm belief that even experts need to stay updated about what’s new in the dental field, enables her to provide every patient with optimal oral care. As the founder of Coral Dental Care, she is dedicated to creating healthy, beautiful smiles for her patients and also to educating dental and non-dental communities with her engaging articles on all things related to oral health, recent dental innovations, and latest treatment modalities.

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Spark Creativity in Your Home! 21 Inspiring Kids Playroom Decor Ideas

Imagination and kids go hand-in-hand. And when it’s playtime, a kids playroom should be filled with toys that spark their imagination and creativity. Whether that’s with a kitchen playset for a child that loves the idea of being a chef or a table for all sorts of arts and crafts, the options are endless. If you’re looking for a way to highlight your child’s creative mind in your home, look no further than these 21 kids’ playroom decor ideas.

Whether you’re living in Vancouver, CA or in Charlotte, NC incorporating any of these inspiring kids’ playroom decor ideas will make your home a more imaginative place for you and your child. 

Kids playroom decor ideas should embrace creativity. I love having a space carved out for my children to get creative. A kid-sized table for crafting and art is a must. I think it is important to keep paper, crayons and playdough within their reach so they can feel empowered to create when they want to. – Rosemary Pritchard, Hopscotch City

Include a space that encourages children to be imaginative. An art table is a great way to encourage this creativity. Start with a child sized table and chairs and add paper, construction paper, crayons, washable markers, water color paints, stickers, washable scented stamp pads and stamps, glue sticks and scissors. These items will encourage your child to use their imagination to create beautiful pieces of art. – Kid City USA

Set up an area for art and let that be messy. A low sink in the playroom will help them with independence. Learning how to wash their hands/materials after working with clay/paints will also give them plenty of sensorial stimulation. A magnetic wall/chalk paint on a wall adds lots of excitement to a playroom. Remember, play is their work. Instead of fixating on “educational” materials choose things that keep them engaged. – Szilvi Kovacs, Director of Kids Collective Preschool 

Create small play zones in different areas of the room, and in those areas, only have one type of activity to help the kids focus. Rotate the activities periodically and to make toy rotation easy for you, store the activities by type in large ziplocks or stackable shoe bins. Activity planning then becomes easy and you don’t have to spend the time and energy thinking about the setup. – Myra Epp, Tetrachrome Design, LLC

Have ways for kids to get their energy out. Get those wiggles out! Incorporate items like a toddler trampoline, Nugget play couch, and wood climber that take the place of small toys and get all that toddler energy out. – Kyle and Kim Griffiths, State of Play Kids

Set your playroom up to grow with your child, and make age appropriate toys available within their reach so that they can have the opportunity to play independently while you take a moment to yourself. Some of my favorite things that I keep within reach of my toddler include her bag of musical instruments, shape puzzles, legos, paper and crayons, coloring books and books. Things I keep out of reach include Play-Doh, markers, paint and arts and crafts supplies. The playroom will get messy and I’ve learned to just embrace the chaos… but I don’t need googly eyes or beads all over the house. – Erica Brennes, Real Mom Real Tired

Create a hideaway underneath the stairs. We created a secret hideout by adding some fun festive lights and shelves to the nook area under the stairs. It is a great area to build towering block castles, do puzzles, and experiment with science kits. A monthly subscription to our toy rental service keeps your hideout freshly stocked and clutter free. – Green Piñata Toys

You can make space in your family room. Use low level storage at child height with baskets which fit in with your decor. The key here is to have a place for everything and everything in its place and for the children to be able to access the toys easily for play and for tidying up. Once they are in bed, adults get to enjoy their space with no mess in sight. Children like a low table so your coffee table can do double duty while a floor matt gives versatility. I would make sure to include construction toys, small world toys, drawing supplies and books in the designated area and then swap them out for others to keep their interest. – Dominique Lyons, Founder of Kids Rule Interiors

Create a cozy corner for reading and relaxing. Children love to read books. Create a cozy reading corner by mounting spice racks as bookshelves in a height your kids can reach. Place a comfy mattress on the floor, or even better, a stylish little sofa for “hygge” time. – Leander

Select the right toys and neutral-colored storage. If you’re like us and your playroom is in the same space as your open-concept living room, my biggest tip is to be selective with the toys you have and the storage you have so your living room doesn’t feel overrun by toys. For us, we prefer minimal and/or wood toys over plastic toys, and, rather than plastic tubs in primary colors for storage, we collect toys into large, oversized neutral canvas baskets to group similar items like blocks, Duplo legos, and Magnatiles. – Hunter Rohwer

The less toys, the better the playroom. A playroom that has too many toys can overwhelm a child. Research tells us that less toys leads to more creativity and ultimately happier, more engaged play. You’ll never go wrong with a neutral colored playroom with a carefully selected rotation of toys that encourage a child to use their imaginations. – Jackie Ciaramella, Whole 9 Family

Your space should be clear and clutter-free. Having a space cleared of extra knick-knacks allows for better creative thought. De-clutter by storing and cycling toys seasonally throughout the year. Bring warm season toys out as it warms up; bubbles, jump rope, sidewalk chalk. Bring cool season toys out as it gets chilly; puzzles, books, games. Stage toys to make them inviting and engaging for children to play. Don’t just throw the baby doll and her blanket into a toy box, prop the baby up in her doll house and set the blanket and bottle next to her. – Rebecca Calbert NCARB, LEED AP, Childcare Design Studio and Calbert Design Group

Make sure toys are visible and labeled. If they can’t see their toys, they won’t play with them. Instead of toy boxes, invest in clear, high-quality plastic shoe storage boxes. Label them for easy sorting and clean-up. – Pilar Bewley, Mainly Montessori

Toy rotation is key. The best advice I have for keeping your playroom organized and your children engaged while playing is… toy rotation. When all the toys are out and available, they often get mixed up, scattered across the floor, and the mess can be overwhelming for both parent and child. Categorize your toys (ex: puzzles, play figures), keep one item in each category on a shelf in your playroom, put the rest of the toys in boxes and store somewhere out of sight, rotate the toys weekly. – Shara Challa Arora, Executive Director of Sugar Mill and Meadow Montessori Schools

Include a closet space to keep the majority of toys and activities packed away and out of sight. Keep a limited number of toys out for play, rotating the options on a regular basis. Children will engage better with their toys when there are fewer options, plus old toys seem new again when they have been hidden a while and they will be excited to see. – Nanny Savvy

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Label storage with pictures and words. When using storage bins, take photos of the contents and label with both the picture and the words. Not only does this help keep toys organized, it promotes literacy skills as children connect the written words to the image. Don’t forget to make books easily accessible. – Stacey Grumet, Founder & CEO of Paper Pinecone

Stock your child’s playroom with open-ended, age-appropriate materials. These would be any toys and supplies that have more than one possible use. Materials like wooden blocks, art supplies like play dough, and even things from nature like sand, water, rocks or sticks encourage creativity, experimentation, trial and error, problem solving and critical thinking. – Lauren Besack, Ducklings Early Learning Franchise Director of Curriculum Development

Accessibility is key for a playroom for kids that inspires independent play (every parent’s dream). Low shelves with open bins are a must. It also helps to keep the shelves organized and as clutter-free as possible. Too many toys can be overwhelming and make it difficult for a child to find something to do. I recommend keeping the bulk of your toys in a closet and to rotate what’s available on the shelves every few weeks to keep kids interested and avoid toys getting “old.” – Amanda Armbruster, Take a Break Tots, LLC

Highlight toys to spark creativity. My number one tip is to stage and style toys in a way which invites children to jump in and play instead of hiding everything away. – Lindsay Pavlick, The Well Styled Child

Everything should have its place. Make sure everything has a home and make sure that home is labeled. I like using pictures for labels on containers to allow even very young children to know where each toy lives. – Jessica Wade, The Wiggle Room

Just use 3 simple organization tips. 3 easy and simple ways to organize your kids’ playroom: hang or display, color code, and contain with labels. Categorize your kids’ toys and choose from these organizing styles that best fit any space. – Brightstar Labels

Originally published by Redfin

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