A child senses the nature of the parent very easily. So, if the parent is holding stressful or negative energy, the child will absorb it too.
By Arouba Kabir
Kids turn a house into a home- filled with love, affection and warmth, but it is a big deal to handle and tackle them. No university provides you a course for that, it’s an experience one goes through and grows through. Often during this process- it can be really rewarding on some days and be real taxing on others. It’s important for Parents to understand that they need to attend to their own mental health and themselves before they can give parts of themselves to another human. Whether it is a new-born or a teenager, parents are always worried about raising the right kind of human. However, anything that is done with love, for yourself, and the other will always show the best results.
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While it is very common for parents to be worried about their children, they must understand that worry is just another emotion that is causing harm to themselves and may cause harm to their child as well. When one is dealing with such presumably inevitable emotions like worry, one must understand the importance to step back, pause, think, and then move on with their day. This worry can be transformed into love for oneself and the child.
A child senses the nature of the parent very easily. So, if the parent is holding stressful or negative energy, the child will absorb it too. Thus, the parent should first and foremost attend to their emotional and physical health to create a harboring environment for the child.
Here are some tips to incorporate into your routines to have a healthy mind
· Understand yourself – You need to understand yourself outside the role of a parent. You must experience yourself as a separate human who needs to attend to their physical and emotional needs. Remember if you’re healthy, you can be of better service to anyone and everyone.
· Use the tools – Tools like journaling, meditation, yoga, when incorporated as a daily practice help you observe yourself and the varied emotions you carry. Anxious parents make anxious children and emotionally aware and strong parents make physically and mentally healthy children. If need arises, please do not shy away from speaking to a professional regarding how you are feeling emotionally and how to deal with it.
· Take time out – Each parent must ensure that the other is getting their “me time”. This practice will help you to create a healthy environment at home. You will be able to come back to your family refreshed.
· Clear communication– Clear communication is a boon for you and your child. Not only does it cut out the anger and frustration that you experience, but also gives out a message to your child regarding the importance of healthy, calm communications.
· Incorporating hobbies – Everyone has something they would love to make time for. Whether it is reading a book, knitting, dancing, singing, trekking, etc. By making time for the things you love, you are cultivating your identity that is separate from being a parent. You are also sending out a message to your child that they can be independent.
· Resting- This is an important factor that most of us fail to acknowledge. Whether you are a parent of a 3-year-old or a teenager, you must rest. Make time for your mind and body to rest completely. Don’t hesitate to take extra sleep time, your body knows best!
· Eat well- It can get difficult to manage your eating habits while taking care of your child’s. Remember to eat all your meals and to eat healthily.
· Physical exercise- Try to incorporate at least 15 minutes of physical exercise into your day. Finding 15 minutes might seem difficult, but once you start seeing the benefits, those 15 minutes will be the most awaited time of the day. Give yourself this time.
The bottom line remains that Being a parent is not an easy job, but with the required love, care, and discipline you cultivate for yourself, you will be able to give the same amounts to your child. Always remember children learn from seeing, it’s basic human instincts, so incorporating activities to take care of your mental health will eventually help them to have a healthier and happier mind when they grow up and also boost your relation.
(The author is Mental Health Therapist/ Counsellor and Founder, EnsoWellness. Views expressed are personal.)