The foundation for sound mental health, happiness and satisfaction is apparently built early in life. Though out genes may assert a powerful influence on how we feel and behave, our experience lays the foundation for our emotion and social health. So, whatever your child’s life’s ambition may be, their emotional health is sure to be part of it.
For centuries, we have represented our aspirations to become “healthy, wealthy and wise”. Others prefer to have “satisfying lives”, “feeling good about ourselves”, “self-actualization”, “Nirvana”, “fame”, “Being popular”, etc. And as we age, we may desire simply to “just live one more day”. In fact, some people feel giddy each morning when they pull back the bed sheets and don’t find a tag on their big toe. That said, I should remind everyone that a leaning tree is not always the first to fall. A study coming out of the London School of Economics confirms that “it’s not how many times you fall, it’s how many times you get up”. They report that perseverance is the key to a child’s emotional health throughout life. Coping with crises including the ruptured relationships of divorce, adversity, incarceration, depression, sleepless nights, eating disorders, bedwetting, feeling victimized, and other life challenges. Yet in the midst of crisis, attention to a child’s emotional well-being with understanding and action will dramatically improve a child’s chances for happiness and satisfaction. In addition, the data from England makes it clear that emotional health is far more important than income or academic success.
While important, money really cannot buy us happiness. We should focus on a child’s overall health, quality of life and general well-being. Our focus on a child’s well- being should now recognize that mental health intervention in early childhood is the key to future happiness—and prosperity.
The Providers and Staff of ZOe Pediatrics www.zoepeds.com