This World Mental Health Day, let’s talk about the children
Children are living through the global pandemic. Children also watch the news - and they’re super sensitive to the world around them. So it’s no surprise that many parents and teachers today are worried about young children’s mental health. Much as we’d love to, we can’t swoop in and fix everything. But we can give children time and space to develop skills that help them cope with fear, loss and change.
Play helps children build up their social and emotional toolkit
There’s plenty of evidence for it. One study found children who learn to play well with their peers by age three are likely to enjoy better mental health later in childhood. While another reported that children who spend more time playing adventurously have lower symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Why? Children who learn through play develop new skills. They grow their confidence and resilience by setting the rules of their own games. They can speak their mind and say what’s wrong. And they have greater control over their emotional responses. These are powerful tools to protect their mental health.