“Wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” – The World Health Organization.
Wellness is defined by a number of personal choices, activities and a lifestyle that lead to a fulfilled life. There are several key areas related to wellness: healthy relationships, exercise, nutrition, sleep, self-care and mindfulness. Each one has an impact on the physical and mental health.
Child wellness is based on the satisfaction of material, physical, affective and psychological needs. A child's well-being is determined by the level of parental, familial, communal, and social safe interactions.
Family wellness can be considered a state of affairs in which every family member's needs are met. This requires that people reach a balance between pursuing personal aspirations, such as careers and studies, and contributing to the well-being of other family members. Family wellness is more than the absence of discord; it is the presence of supportive, affectionate and gratifying relationships that serve to promote the personal develop.
Promoting well-being involves understanding and addressing child, youth, and caregiver functioning in many different areas. A focus on well-being should be integrated into the field of child abuse prevention, addressing child and family needs related to well-being is a critical part of reducing risks and increasing safety and protective factors.
During Covid-19 times
It is important for kids to feel safe and supported at home. Now that schools are closed and many kids have lost their "safe place" to go to share with other children, it is very important to keep the communication open with them. Remember to ask your children how they are feeling and remind them that they can come to you to talk about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. You can even come up with a code word that they can say when they don’t feel safe, or when they feel sad, worried, etc.
These days many parents have lost their jobs and have been struggling to cover the basic needs such as food, shelter or healthcare. If you are going through rough times, please contact a trusted family member, neighbor, friend or local community resources.
Healthy connections are also very important and staying in touch with loved ones is vital during these times. Reach out to the kids’ friends or other family members through video calls.
Kids will miss seeing their teachers and friends and we should help them to strengthen their connections even during these difficult times. They want to feel loved and missed too; self-esteem in children is developed through recognition and feeling valued by others.
Help your kids to keep dreaming about their future plans, about what new things they want to learn, which sport they want to practice, where they want to go on a vacation one day. Children need to feel the pandemic will be over one day and that they will have a bright future, a purpose in their lives.
Access to nature has always been related to lower levels of stress and illness. Playing outside is one of the greatest joys of childhood, but it serves a larger purpose than just being a way to have a good time. Spending time outdoors is a crucial part of healthy growth and development, according to the National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of outdoors activities for the family wellbeing click HERE
Some recommended links:
- Do you want to know how Covid-19 can affect children?
How to recognize signs of stress in your child?
The importance of childhood friendships
- Positive parenting during Covid times
- Helping children cope with changes from Covid-19
- Helping children to feel safe on stressful times
- Being safe vs. feeling safe
- 21 tips that could help your kids to follow their dreams
Tips to help you prevent child abuse and neglect and create an environment that nurtures your child’s well-being.
There is a well known adage that prevention is better than cure, but departments and ministries of health in Canada and the US devote less than 1% of their budgets to the prevention of mental health problems.