World Mental Health Day – Nurturing your Child to be Happy Individual
On account of World Mental Health Day on 10th October, 2022, RMCC conducted a session for parents of children to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and mobilize efforts in support of mental health on 8th October, 2022 from 9:30am-2:00pm. At RMCC, we acknowledge that mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Keeping this in view, RMCC organized a parenting session to help parents incorporate practical strategies to improve their child’s holistic well being. The speakers used the forum to discuss how moral values, emotional quotient, nutrition and sleep hygiene can be developed across students from different age groups. The forum also focused on the importance of partnership in parenting. Parents are significant stakeholders in the child’s overall well being and we hoped that the insights parents had during these sessions will help them develop their child’s overall well being. Children are the future and helping them today will make them better individuals tomorrow.
The first speaker, Ms. Riddhi Doshi Patel spoke about the ‘Importance of inculcating Moral Values’ in children. Ms. Riddhi’s session was an experiential and activity based session which focused on helping parents understand the importance of self love and appreciation of self before anyone else. She also spoke about the important moral values to be imbibed in the current century post the pandemic which are love towards self and others, self discipline, accept, acknowledge and appreciate self, problem solving and decision making. She gave practical strategies that can be imbibed in regular life and she focused on the importance of very specific and clear communication with children. She also mentioned that it is okay to feel and express all our emotions and we shouldn’t shy away from doing so in front of our children. Ms. Riddhi’s session was extremely interactive and helped all parents learn very helpful strategies.
The second speaker for the day was Ms. Tejal Dave who spoke about the importance of ‘Building Emotional Quotient’ in children. Children who learn how to manage their emotions effectively in their childhood, can regulate their emotions much more effectively and build better relationships in adulthood. Ms. Tejal spoke about the different parenting styles which gave parents insight about the parenting strategies they use and how they can parent their child more effectively. She also spoke about various practical strategies to incorporate this and mentioned how parents become very effective role models in this process. Inculcating the value of empathy in children at a very early age was also discussed. Ms. Tejal encouraged parents to help children build effective problem solving skills by helping them brainstorm rather than immediately providing solutions to them. Ms. Tejal’s session helped parents learn effective coping skills to deal with children’s emotional concerns and build better regulation skills from early childhood.
The next speaker was Ms. Shilpa Mittal who spoke about the importance of ‘Nutrition, Digital detox and Sleep Hygiene’. The session was very informative and the knowledge was helpful for parents not just to build better habits for their children but for themselves too. Ms. Shilpa again reiterated the importance of parents following positive parenting practices when it comes to nutrition, and sleep hygiene habits so that children can also imitate similar behaviors. She extensively spoke about the importance of healthy eating and avoiding packaged and junk food. She discussed the importance of checking nutritional values of the food we consume and how not having certain food items may cause hormonal imbalances. Post covid and due to lack of physical activity, children are now facing major health problems and hence it becomes all the more important to inculcate healthy practices in children. She spoke about the negative effects of spending too much time on screen and how it affects our sleep. Parents had multiple questions regarding specific food habits and the session helped them understand how to build better habits for their children.
The last session was conducted by Dr. Avinash Desousa and he spoke about the importance of ‘Partnership in Parenting’. As important as it is to build values in children, it is also important for parents to work together as a team with your child. Children absorb the personality of the parents and it is of the utmost importance that parents work together. Effective communication between parents is very important. It is important for parents to not blame each other and co parent so that the child can build good values and relationships in their life. The session was very interactive and the practical examples provided in the session helped parents to learn effective parenting practices.
The overall feedback provided by the parents was very positive and they took multiple takeaways and new parenting practices post the sessions.