September 13, 2010
Promoting Good Early Childhood Mental Health
The 1999 Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General defined children’s mental health as “the achievement of expected developmental cognitive, social, and emotional mile stones and by secure attachments, satisfying social relationships and effective coping skills” ("Chapter Three Children and mental health, 1999). It is important that the first six years of life we help establish developmental competencies that will contribute to a child’s school readiness as well as maintain them on the course to become mentally healthy adults.
There are many things that contribute to a child’s mental health such as biological, environmental, and developmental factors. (Sorte,Daeschel & Amador 2010 p.417) Biological factors are specific to the individual child and are present at birth such as:
* Physical and health attributes
These factors play a role in how the caregiver takes to the child. Children’s minds learn how to interact with others and what to expect by the early relationships with caregivers. For example the child is likely to respond negatively when a caregiver responds to them negatively. (Sorte,Daeschel & Amador 2010 p. 417)
Environmental factors are factors that deal with social and emotional development. Examples of environmental factors are:
* Family life situations
* Community well-being
Environmental factors play an important role in the etiology of emotional problems in childhood. It is important that we as caregivers notice signs of mental health problems early so we can better address the child’s needs. (Sorte,Daeschel & Amador 2010 p. 417-418)
One of the main goals of early childhood centers is to promote healthy social and emotional development in children. Creating appropriate settings, positive... [continues]
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