The Importance of providing the right environment for your child’s physical and mental Development:
Parents these days worry about their child’s physical and mental health more than ever. With changing times it is becoming more and more important to focus on mental health. It is important to provide a balanced environment, an environment where parents do not seed in the wrong ideas from the very beginning. For e.g. I came across a parent who had been obese as child and worried about her child facing the same problems, hence started stopping the child from eating cheese, chocolate etc. I understand the parent’s concerns however the way they are communicated is very important, if the child perceives the parent’s intention otherwise this may have an adverse effect on them mentally. Parents need to choose the right methods and words.
It is my belief that providing children the right kind of environment from the very beginning is very important of their physical and mental health.
If you look at Dr. Liptons theory he states that: The baby’s perception of the world is based on the environment the father and mother create, even when the baby is in the womb. I am sure you must have heard elderly women in your family saying that a pregnant woman should be happy, for a happy child to be born. The positivity that the mother radiates will ensure that the child imbibes the same. The mother passes on not just nutrition to the foetus, but also information about the environment, which then helps the baby modify his genetic programme so that he can ensure survival.
How does this affect me as a parent?
For the mother
It is essential for a woman who has just conceived a child to be content and feel secure about the conception and not be stressed. Nowadays, most women work right up to the ninth month of their pregnancy, which is fine as long as the work is engaging and stress free. The environment that the mother is in provides vital information to the baby about what to anticipate. If the mother is stressed out, the baby prepares for a stress-ridden life. A 6-month-old foetus is as intelligent and aware as a 1-year-old child! Even while agreeing that the fears in your mind regarding pregnancy and delivery are normal, these negative emotions develop an environment of fear for the child. Stay positive and enjoy the journey. The pregnancy journey is priceless.
For the father
If you think that your role starts only after the child is born, think again. The happy and relaxed environment that the mother needs for the baby is created by you. The father plays a very important role during the pre-natal period. Research shows that women who are not confident about their partner’s support, financially or emotionally, tend to look at their pregnancy as unwanted. This negative approach towards the baby has far reaching effects. Many first time fathers have problems developing a bond with someone that they haven’t seen yet. If you accompany your partner to every pre-natal check up, you will find yourself bonding with the child. Soon you will be as excited about the birth as the mother. This is the time for you to prepare for how you are going to welcome your child. Remember, every interaction you have with your partner adds to the subconscious download of the child.
When parents provide their children with the right kind of environment children automatically feel safe and secure. Parents have a huge task at hand to make sure their children are healthy both physically, mentally too.
Tips to ensure your child’s Physical Health:
Eating right is one of the most important factors for physical health: Start the day with a healthy breakfast. Let kids help plan and prepare 1 meal each week. Eat together as a family as often as possible. Take time eating, and chew
Physical activity tops the list to ensure your child is physically healthy: Include physical activity with your children on a daily basis. Walk as a family before or after meals. Make playtime with your family fun. Be active in the home. Include activities, such as hiking or biking, when you go on vacation. Know your daily calorie needs. Balance calories you consume with calories you burn. Limit TV, computer, and video game time to less than 2 hours per day. Encourage physical activity instead.
·Encourage your child to pick one physical activity and one creative activity: this will help your child keep fit mentally and physically
Tips to ensure your child’s mental health:
- Help children build strong, caring relationships: It’s important for children to have strong relationships with family and friends.
- Help children develop self-esteem: Show lots of love and acceptance. Praise them when they do well.
- Listen, and respect their feelings: It’s OK for children to feel sad or angry. Encourage them to talk about how they feel.
- Create a safe, positive home environment: Be aware of your child’s media use, both the content and the amount of time spent.
- In difficult situations, help children solve their own problems: Teach your children how to relax when they feel upset. Try not to take over.