How might you define a healthy person? And if you already know what it means, would you say that you are a healthy person? What do you think is most important in being healthy: a healthy mind or a healthy body?  Or could it be that having both mind and body equally healthy is the key?

 

What is health?

 

I love dictionaries that provide the root for words, and one of these dictionaries is the online, 1828 edition of Noah Webster. There, he defines health as a sound state of the mind; a natural vigor of faculties. His second definition is quite similar: a sound state of the mind, in a moral sense; purity; goodness.

 

Isn’t it interesting he mentions the mind first?  He then says: That state of an animal or living body, in which the parts are sound, well organized and disposed, and in which they all perform freely their natural functions. In this state the animal feels no pain. This word is applied also to plants.

When I began to study for my coaching certifications, I learned the very important role that the mind plays as a predecessor to the reflection of those thoughts out on the body. You, as Super Moms, will be well-served to learn this so that your mothering of your children can address both cause (their minds) and effect (their bodies.)

 

What is Considered Normal?

 

Health involves mental, physical, emotional, and social aspects of life.  These reflect form from your child’s mind as thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  Every society has norms that are considered acceptable and unacceptable, so moms the world over are the ones who teach their children what “normal” is for them. What is acceptable in one country might not be acceptable in another, so it is apparent that the concept of “normal” is arbitrary. Allowing for flexibility around the concept of “normal” makes for healthy mind sets in your children.

 

Looking for Health in Children’s Minds

 

One of the most important things you can teach your children is that

A healthy mind creates a healthy body.

 

A balance of key ingredients will keep your kid’s mind healthy. It begins inside and reflects out. This list isn’t all inclusive, but it’s a great place to begin.

 

a)    Ability to focus.  Your child can be taught to focus from an early age, for example, by focusing on a book as you read it to him. As he matures, he can use this ability to achieve his goals.

b)    Ability to play.  I love that playing is called recreation, and I think of it as RE-creation.  Having a fun orientation will allow your child to be spontaneous, creative, and playful, and his mind will be able to make stronger connections.

c)     Ability to connect with others.  Our minds make relational connections, and being with others, or being in nature allow your child to see and enjoy those connections. It also helps him to refine harmonious relationships.

d)    Ability to be physical.  A dancing child or a climbing child is a happy child.  His or her mind is reflecting outwards the activity of their within and they strengthen themselves in the process.

e)    Ability to go within.  Inside every child, is a quiet place of discernment, of approval, of sensations. If you talk about how you are feeling inside, he or she can begin to relate and learn about this important part of their small selves.

f)      Ability to rest and enjoy.  Downtime is as important as activity time to a child, so that he can learn the value of catering to all of his needs. This downtime allows the mind to recharge.

g)    Ability to sleep. When your child sleeps, all of his previous mental accumulations get sorted and classified, and he feels more rejuvenated so that he can carry on.

 

(Maria, in rereading what I wrote in this article, I thought you might prefer this section versus the one that follows it so I added it. Feel free to delete one if it’s too long.)

 

Things that Can Limit Mental Health

 

Some of the things every generation passes along to their children are not the most healthy things. We have a tendency to believe our elders due to their years of experience and the fact that they love us and we love them.  It isn’t until much later that we realize their love for their own parents and their lack of questioning their parents decisions might have innocently allowed them to pass inaccuracies forward. In cognitive science study, it is taught that higher organisms act out of the content of their mental states, so let’s look at that.

 

What is Considered Normal?

 

Health involves mental, physical, emotional, and social aspects of life.  These reflect form from your child’s mind as thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  Every society has norms that are considered acceptable and unacceptable, so moms the world over are the ones who teach their children what “normal” is for them. What is acceptable in one country might not be acceptable in another, so it is apparent that the concept of “normal” is arbitrary.

 

Some of those inaccuracies might be:

 

  • Too little focus on the mind (cause) and too much focus on the body (effect).  If a child can be taught to release his fearful thoughts – say, if he’s fallen and scraped his knee – that release will make all pain stop.

 

  • Some parents have taught that life has only one meaning and that that meaning is the only one that is accurate.  Kids love to explore ideas and a fabulous Super Mom will encourage this exploration.

 

  • Another person’s sense is more accurate than the child’s.  An essential part of child-rearing is to allow the child to trust his own senses. He’ll need lots of freedom from your already-formed concepts to accomplish this.

 

Questions to Keep Your Child Inward Focused

 

If kids can keep their minds healthy, their bodies will automatically be healthy. In addition to the seven tips we’ve already covered, let’s look at several other aspects of what makes a healthy mind. Once children understand this, they won’t be sabotaging themselves from the inside out.

 

Kids have fairly jumbled thoughts initially and they are in there sorting like crazy.  If you can learn how to gently probe your child to find out what he’s thinking and if you can make him feel safe to share those thoughts with you, you can also encourage him how to improve on his thinking.

 

Approach him softly with words like “You seem worried. What is worrying you?”  Once he shares with you, be equally gentle and ask more questions like “Do you think there could be another way to look at this situation?” Wait for his answers before you teach him anything!

 

Your maturity will permit you to see where he’s making a wrong decision, and if you use your own wisdom to formulate questions that will nudge him in a better direction while letting him come to that decision on his own, it will help him to maintain mental health.

 

Healthy children have healthy minds.  With a healthy mind, a healthy body is automatic. It takes great courage not to force your child into a mold of your creation but to allow him to find his own way….with the guidance of his Super Mom.  Oh, and lots of fruits and vegetables, too!

 

Your body hears everything your mind says. ~ Naomi Judd

 

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