Children’s mental health
Recently, mental health of young kids is considered as a fixed outcome of something like a nutrition recipe, it is supposed to contain propered love, safety sense, developed toys, beneficial friends, openly sexual education and normal emotional expression and control, etc. A mental meal like this reminded me boiled veggie in some nutritionist kitchen, full of nutrition but can’t make me hungry. Similarly, children who rised by recipe like this will possibly become an adaptable but uninteresting person.
However, our so-called mental health is not the product of mental meal. It is resulted from the mental reactions toward personal experience, to adapt, to absorb and to combine, and the balance between outside needs and inside needs. Mental health relies on the balance among physical needs, human instincts and demands from outside world and it is a motional balance. The exposure and conceal of instincts, wants, hopes and the process of finding the true us happen in the higher level of mental activity, which is controlled by the part where has the tightest connection between consciousness and reality: self-consciousness. Our self-consciousness is responsible for these condition and connection and it works as people have self-conscious when we are awaked.
It is not that easy that self-satisfaction, happiness, can be the measure of mental health. Someone’s mental health is not only assessed by the proportion of the person’s mental structure, but also by the social norm with the comparison of the highest level of personality. If a kid is “safe”, as he never does any adventure for a goal or his principal, mental health liked this does no good for the personal happiness; if a kid adapts to the community by complete acceptance and following blindly, adaption liked this against human nature; if a kid adapts school by filling mediocre thoughts and common sense, what kind of culture would actually grant his adaption?
The highest level of mental health means a person can freely utilize his intelligence to solve his and problems the society he belongs to confronts. The freely utilization of intelligence needs to remove self-satisfactory and self-centred through the development and judgement in the higher level mental activities.
A training of children’s mental health must include training of intelligence. Dependency of emotional health to intelligence is as heavy as it to basic physical needs. The highest level of mental health also includes a steady and complete value system which is the combination of norm sense and self sense, deep down in the unbreakable mental structure. We cannot talk about mental health to people lacking value system liked this. If the assessment of mental health bases on self-satisfactory and social adaption, it is predictable that a criminal to satisfy his wants to the largest level and to adapt to the criminal group as good as everyone can imagine.
One side is human basic needs and the wish of self-centered, another side is the restriction from norm and social needs. As a result, theoretically, mental health depends on the balance between them. Normally, we don’t feel these two great powers coming inside our minds, but when we grow the wishes against the norm, or when we realize we wishes can’t come true because of some reasons, our selves will play a role as a judge between these two against powers.
If you find the information above is confusing, I am here to make them brief:
- A mentally healthy person can balance his inside wants and outside needs. The balance is moving, so it is imperfect. When facing difficulties, inside wants and outside needs become unbalance, give and take is needed, the person must be able to maintain the balance.
- A mentally healthy person knows how to control his wants. He knows when should he express or conceal his wants and he can turn his dissatisfactory to motivation of doing something more beneficial. For example, some people complain less in during working, not because they don’t complain, it is because they decide to spend time and energy to do something more meaningful instead of to complain.
- A person is more calm is more possible to be mentally healthy. Actually, it only reaches the minimal level of mental health. Other than mental harmony, it also sees whether the person has the basic abilities, enough braveness and adventured mind to build up his social value. For example, people who stay at home playing games everyday are very calm and happy. Because they lack of producing social values, their mental health needed to be re-assessed.
- A mentally healthy person has basic norm and a complete value system. He not only consider his own satisfactory, but others’ benefits. At anytime, he won’t underestimate people’s benefits.
- A mentally healthy person has a justified judge in his mind. This judge activate self-protection by anxiety and compunction but never let them overweight.
Mental health is a moving balance, to let it stable is what we need to teach our kids.