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5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

ALMOST one in seven children were diagnosed with having mental disorders in 2015, a survey by the Australian Health Department revealed.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing of Children and Adolescents highlighted boys were 5% more likely to experience mental health issues than girls with ADHD the most common in both sexes, followed by anxiety, major depressive disorder and conduct disorder.

Almost one third of 4-17-year-olds with a disorder, had two or more at the same time.

So what can parents do to help avoid their child falling into these categories?

Form good habits early.

Number one parenting educator Michael Grose of Parenting Ideas believes a number of positive habits can help steer children away from developing some mental health issues.

Sleep: Children need a minimum of 10-12 hours of sleep a night, and teenagers nine. Sleep is one of the building blocks for stability, mental health and wellbeing.

Talk: Encourage your children to talk about their problems and feelings and know there is an open-door policy between kids and parents.

Physical health: An hour a day of exercise is the minimum requirement for children and there is a reason. It stimulates chemicals that improve mood and release stress. Ensuring your child has a well-balanced diet is just as important as they need nutrients to function properly.

Help others: Show them from early on the benefits of sharing, volunteering and the good feelings that come from helping others. It reinforces a sense of community and connectivity as well as provides opportunities for positive reinforcement.

Relaxation: Make sure your child gets some chill-out time. This could be a hobby they love to do, vegging out with the family or something that relaxes them and allows them to live in the moment and switch-off.

And the secret to these, is modelling them as a parent.

If at any time you are worried about your mental health or the mental health of a loved one phone Lifeline 13 11 14.

Miss last week's episode on smacking? WATCH IT HERE

Check out episode one on technology and kids HERE

Topics:  heymumma heymummahealth mental health wellbeing



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