Mental health for children – 7 suggestions

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There is a lot of talk here in the UK about children being out of balance and suffering from mental health problems.  I have a theory that children aren’t getting connected in a right way. What do I mean? Let me explain.

In today’s world getting connected using emails, tablets, iphones, mobiles etc is the norm for our young generation. Actually communicating verbally with people or even writing a letter to someone seems alien. Play has been pushed to the back of these young lives so that gadgets are their play experiences.

In my opinion, in order to be mentally healthy our children need to be able:

1          to talk and express their feelings and ideas with adults and children who are not too busy to listen.

2        play in creative ways and have the freedom to run around in the world God has provided for them

3       to have gadget free days as often as can be organised into family life. Start with a gadget free Sunday and develop other days from this e.g having gadget free weekends/workdays and/or holiday times. See your children thrive with the freedom they can have to be children and explore and have adventures.

4     to connect with their Maker who made all that they see around them in creation. Take a walk regularly with children and let them feel the wind and sunshine and appreciate all the details of the creation they can see, e.g a tiny flower; a bud on a tree; little footprints of an animal.

5     get to know their Maker by reading his written word, the Bible or books that show off the Bible truths, eg ‘The Creation Series‘ of Diamond Books.

6     memorise key Scripture verses so that at a young age children can renew their minds as to what is true, right, noble, lovely, pure and honourable. As they focus on the good things in life, then their minds will be healthy and positive too.

7     to be nurtured by caring adults who will input and impact their lives with love and care. I don’t think we were made to live alone – hence God creating families. Some children can feel very alone and need that help and realisation that they need not feel alone as God, their Daddy, is with them always. A lot of children don’t know this – hence they can be out of balance mentally.

Paul, the apostle wrote to young Timothy (who was shy, retiring and timid) long ago.

God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7). We do well to take note of this and allow our children the freedom to be who God intended them to be – healthy in every way!