Building Blocks of Wellbeing for Our Kids: Promoting Healthy Foundational Skills

When building a house, it is necessary to begin with groundwork and infrastructure. I recently watched a Youtube video on how to build a foundation, and I don’t even want to go in to how much work it is. Suffice it to say that you have to spend a lot of time, use good strong materials, and make sure you add plenty of support and reinforcements! If you think of mental fitness as a house, you would not want to create a home with just a pretty face on the outside. Instead, you’d want to build a house that was sturdy and would hold up under adverse conditions, like rain and snow storms, tornadoes, extreme temperatures, straight line winds, and the like; a safe and comfortable place you could come to at the end of the day to rest and recharge. Hence the importance of a solid foundation. The same is true for mental fitness. And if you are a parent, you’ll naturally want to do everything you can to ensure that your children develop mental fitness and the ability to achieve their full and unique potential out in the world.

In his new book, “Mental Fitness for Tweens & Teens,” Dr. David Hoy explains in a step-by-step process, how to assist children to develop mental fitness. He begins with “Foundational Skills.” These are the basic and vital skills your child needs to navigate through life; such as getting good nutrition, incorporating sufficient physical activity into daily routines, obtaining healthy sleep levels, and managing time and money. Sounds easy enough. But, as everyone knows, building a house requires time and energy, resources, and application. The same is true with mental fitness. The materials are simple, but teaching, practicing, and reinforcing these skills in children requires a great deal of time, energy, and multiple repetitions. Dr. Hoy’s book provides ample education and simple/fun exercises to do just that. By working on and integrating these fundamental skills into life practices, one can create a sturdy base on which to build a strong and stable home. Without these essential elements, your child may as well be living in a tent with a dirt floor and canvas walls! Over the next few months, we will preview these Foundational Skills, along with some handy tidbits and techniques from Dr. Hoy’s book. Having learned how to build a strong foundation, we will shift to the second component of Dr. Hoy’s mental fitness framework and share tips on emotional intelligence skills. Stay tuned!



by MarDee Rosen Hall, M.A.,L.P.

Clinical Director,

David Hoy & Associates