November is Early Childhood Mental Health Awareness Month. Throughout the month, we celebrate the importance mental health plays in childhood development.
What is Early Childhood Mental Health?
While they sound similar, early childhood mental health and early childhood mental illness are two different things affecting children before their fifth birthday. Approximately 17% of children are diagnosed with a mental illness before their eighth birthday. While those children must receive proper care, all preschoolers need positive mental health as it helps them productively interact with people in their environment.
Learning to Express and Regulate Their Emotions
Toddlers and preschoolers learn how to regulate their emotions by watching adults and others around them control their emotions. One of the most powerful things you can do to help your child is to be sure that those around them act warmly and positively toward them.
Forming Close and Secure Relationships
Young children are developing their first relationships. It usually starts with their biological family but can quickly extend to others. Children need to be in a secure environment where they feel loved and have their needs met quickly.
Learn to Explore Their Environment
Play allows preschoolers to practice what they see others doing, so it is vital to create situations where your child can play safely. When a young child is playing, they are learning creativity, figuring out how to solve problems, investigating how to use symbols, and developing their power to think clearly.
Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month
Do not confuse Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month and Early Childhood Mental Health Awareness Month. Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month is held in May and celebrates the importance of positive mental well-being for your child. Early Childhood Mental Health Awareness Month is celebrated in November and focuses on infants and preschoolers learning the skills needed to be emotionally connected to their world.
If you are concerned about the health of your child or preschooler, give us a call so that we can discuss your situation. The sooner issues are identified, the faster workable solutions can be found. The young brain is so moldable that problems can often be fixed quickly, and the toddler connects with his world more positively.