Well-adjusted students have an advantage in school, and the connection between mental health and academic achievement is well documented.1 Learning the important skills of self-care and promoting wellness can set young people on the road to academic success and a fulfilling adulthood. Let’s look deeper into the traits of a well-adjusted child, warning signs of mental health and academic challenges, and how parents can support their child’s development into a well-adjusted adult.
When a child is well adjusted, they have a positive regard for themselves and engage in positive relationships with others. This defines mental wellness, and combined with physical health, provides the ideal basis for a young person to fully participate in their own education and develop a true love of learning.
A well-adjusted person is generally:
It is estimated that as many as 20% of students have mental health challenges that are interfering with their daily functioning. Of these, about two-thirds do not receive mental health services or focused support.1 However, as more parents and teachers actively support mental wellness, these numbers can improve.
Well-adjusted students who are receiving the support and guidance they need tend to do better in these areas1:
Mental wellness is a spectrum, and young people are developing and changing day by day. A well-adjusted child might have difficulties when they become a teenager, as their body and hormones change at the same time they transition from elementary to middle and high school.
Signs that your child may need additional support or guidance include:
As parents, we strive to help our children grow and develop into well-adjusted young adults. You can help your child develop confidence, autonomy, and build strong relationships, while avoiding mental health problems in the future. Your involvement and modeling of physical and mental wellness can make all the difference in helping your child make these life transitions and achieve their academic goals.
Autonomy is the ability to make a decision for yourself. Allowing your child to make age-appropriate decisions helps them learn about consequences and compromises. They may need to practice problem-solving skills and learn to recover from life’s inevitable mistakes.
In turn, making decisions and successfully reaching goals in spite of obstacles builds confidence. Young people should be encouraged to believe in their own abilities to choose well and also overcome and learn from mistakes or circumstances they could not foresee.
Another way to help your child become well adjusted is to provide them with a home and school life which is consistent and includes appropriate boundaries. If rewards and consequences based on behavior are discussed, parents help their child by following through consistently. Knowing and understanding that the adults in their life will follow through on their promises and responsibilities encourages children and teens to respect and emulate these modeled behaviors.
Social and relationship skills are important to a fulfilling and successful life in adulthood. Strong family relationships are the foundation, but strong personal friendships expand your child’s world and give them opportunities to grow and find other natural support systems. Encouraging friendships and social activities with children their own age will help your child develop social skills and emotional intelligence.
Be sure to recognize and reward improvements in academics and other important areas of development. Rather than set a very high bar at an arbitrary grade or large-scale achievement, let progress in a healthy direction be enough. All of us learn and develop at a different pace, and what may come easy for one child might be a challenge for their sibling. Let your child know that you see their successes and their efforts, even if these efforts don’t yield immediate gratification.
Children need time for undirected play and learning to use their imaginations to entertain themselves. Teenagers also need free time to pursue their own interests and discover their abilities and passions. Parents should also take some time for their own hobbies and interests, and model this essential self-care skill as a well-adjusted adult.
There are resources you can share with your child or teenager that can be instrumental in helping promote a well-adjusted attitude toward the challenges of life. These can range from yoga classes, mindfulness, meditation, and martial arts to time with an individual or family counselor. Many young people are faced with an unexpected trauma or a genetic predisposition to certain mental health challenges like depression. Staying involved and providing the right resources when needed will help your child stay happy and healthy.
Some children thrive in a traditional classroom environment and others can best achieve their full potential with a different approach. Many students can drift in a large middle or high school campus and feel lost or bored in a large classroom. Considering the relationship between mental health and academic success, finding the approach that promotes your child’s unique strengths and learning style can help them stay on track.
School-life balance and personal fulfillment are a primary focus at Lydian Academy. Using a one-on-one learning approach, students can build strong rapport with their instructors, who can tailor the pace and style of their teaching to match your child’s needs. With this kind of focused guidance and parent support, Lydian students are encouraged to develop the skills that promote mental wellness and academic achievement.
Lydian offers innovative in-person and virtual learning programs for middle and high school students who might be struggling elsewhere. Contact us today to schedule a tour of our campuses or attend a virtual open house with other parents of Lydian students. You can help your child develop the excitement and passion for learning that will carry them into a well-adjusted and fulfilling adulthood in whatever educational environment that suits them best.