Importance of kids mental health days
Do you ever wake up in the morning and just dread going to work? Does it seam impossible to get up, get dressed and be a functioning member of your workforce team? I feel this, often. It is probably because of my issues with depression but some days I feel like i can not handle life. Some days it feels like the only thing i can do is be home by myself, drink my coffee, watch a little Netflix and just disconnect from everyone. Feeling this way is normal, for everyone.
This feeling is not just a feeling that adults get. Kids can feel this way too. There is so much stress that our children go through every day. The pressure to perform, the pressure to fit in, the pressure to exceed their parents expectations and so much more. Not to mention they deal with bullies, learning disabilities, and performance anxiety. Our kids mental health is incredibly important too! Sometimes our kids just need to disconnect from what is stressing them out.
Children need to know that their parents value their kids mental health and it is just as important, if not more important than adults.
My kids are 10 and 6 years old, both in all day school. My son just started first grade a few weeks ago. The first Friday of school I got a call from him saying he didn’t feel good, I was pretty sure he was fine but went to pick him up anyways. We got home, he ate lunch and went about his day just fine. Why did i go get him if i knew he was fine? Because he needed it. He needed to be done with his first crazy week of first grade and i was OK with that. Now don’t get me wrong, I wont be running to his rescue every time he calls saying he wants to come home.
As parents it is our duty to teach our children, to help them learn the valuable lessons that they need in order to grow up to be successful adults. We are always insistent on teaching them math, science, reading and social skills. We also teach our children that they shouldn’t eat only candy, the importance of exercise and keeping our physical self fit and healthy. Isn’t it just as important that we teach them how to be mentally stable and healthy as well? Isn’t it our job to teach them that sometimes it is OK to just take time for themselves?
I believe that my kids Mental Health days are just as deserved as mine.
Before school started the hubby and i had a chat about our kids health. Me being the Psychology major presented all the facts and benefits of allowing them to chose when they need to stay home. I was very persuasive! So obviously he agreed! We decided that each kid would get a couple of mental health days every semester. This does not include any actual sick days just days where life is to much and they need to stay home or come home early.
Missing a few days a semester will not make my kids fail, but thrive at school!
Now I do not actually have any hard proof that say that taking a day off has any good or long lasting affect on school work but, form my own personal research I know that I feel better after taking a personal day. I’m sure everyone feels better after a nice vacation, a quiet day at home or just doing what you want to do.
There is nothing more than I want for my children than for them to grow up and be successful adults, have a good education, and be valuable members of society. Adults value mental health and self care so much but do not often realize that children need to learn to value these things too. The best way for them to learn this is to live it, and seeing their parents living it as well.
The inspiration for this post hit me this morning around 4 AM when the hubbies alarm went off. I was awake because I hadn’t slept well last night, I’m not sure if it was PMS or just normal rage that had kept me up all night, or just dealing with the last few weeks from hell, or what, but I was not feeling being an adult today. I couldn’t handle putting on a happy face and helping the rude people I encounter everyday at work. So I took a mental health day and i feel good about it.
I want everyone to know that I value my kids mental health.
I want them to know that they should value their mental health too. Growing up is hard and i want to be there for my children in every way I can. Teaching them to value their emotional well being should be as important as teaching them to divide and multiply or read and write.
There are many resources available to educate ourselves on our kids mental health. Some of the best are:
“Children need to have a good mental health status if they are going to live up to their full potential and truly live a life that is filled with positive experiences and the willingness to do what is best for themselves and the people around them.”
“Mental health — an essential part of children’s overall health — has a complex interactive relationship with their physical health and their ability to succeed in school, at work and in society. Both physical and mental health affect how we think, feel and act on the inside and outside.”
“It is easy for parents to identify their child’s physical needs: nutritious food, warm clothes when it’s cold, bedtime at a reasonable hour. However, a child’s mental and emotional needs may not be as obvious. Good mental health allows children to think clearly, develop socially and learn new skills.”
Everyone needs mental health days. Teaching our kids the importance of taking them is our job as parents. Needing a “day off” is something we shouldn’t dismiss, it is something we should embrace in order to teach our children the importance of their health. This lesson is something that they will take with them well into adulthood and hopefully one day teach to their children as well.