As a parent, how important is it for us to nurture our Child’s Mental Health? To make them life ready instead of making them ready to win all the competitions, trophies and top all the exams?
As per WHO (World Health Organization) over 300 million people are suffering from some of the other kind of Mental Illness. More than 8 lacs of teenagers commit suicide worldwide every year and hardly 10 % of them receive timely treatment in the form of proper counseling and medications.
We as a parent often want to control our child’s life, we want to be their masters but it will be all the more beneficial if we try to become their emotional coach. If we treat them as an individual too. If we help them by nurturing their intelligence and natural skills to bloom. Parents have a lot of power when it comes to their child’s mental health.
It’s a cry from the deep-rooted stigma when most of the parents want their kids to fulfill a dream, a career option which they could NOT pursue or complete due to some reason.
My daughter is six years old, she is studying in an International school where apart from the academics she is provided with all the extracurricular activities like swimming, dance, art, theatre, public speaking, taekwondo, skating and what not.
I do get asked questions like don’t you send her for tuitions? Dance class or drawing class? Do I need to put her in any extra class in this situation? Won’t that be too much for a six-year-old? The environment has become so superficially competitive that people blindly follow the rat race, and forget to pause and reflect.
Also, read: Are we making our child life ready?
What are the leading causes of Mental Health problems in Children?
Unknowingly we are creating a very competitive environment for our children, we compare kids, we get worried over their performance and we pressurize them. I am not saying that we should not monitor them, we should, but we need to define a line, set a capacity meter, performance measure from the child’s last performance and not with other children’s performance.
Not every kid is the same and neither their Intelligent quotient will be the same. Let us help our child bloom and discover their area of interest. Where a schools’ role is to provide an atmosphere of basic learning to a kid to enhance his intellects, the parent’s role is to make them aware and knowledgeable by continuous nurturing them with positive thoughts and values.
It occurs when a parent or an adult cause severe physical or emotional harassment to the child. Lucky ones are those who are treated as the apple of the eyes of their parents. There exists a group of children who are regularly physically tortured, tying their hands, starving them, throwing objects on the child and it’s really heartbreaking to even imagine the worst forms.
Sexual abuse happens when a child is forced to commit a sexual act. It also includes fondling a child’s genitals or making a child touch someone else’s genitals, telling a child dirty jokes or stories, forcing a child to undress. It is a very disturbing fact that most of the times it is discovered that the culprits are someone from the family or close relatives who commits such heinous act with the child at such a tender age.
Bullying is a cruel, aggressive and oppressive behavior, usually carried out over a period of time. It can be physical, like hitting or pushing someone, or verbal or emotional threats and intimidation. It s very distressingly for a child to bear it.
Above mentioned are few causes which are prevalent causes to trigger a Mental Disorder of any form in a child in the long run. It can cause long-term emotional damage as well as physical scars.
Victims are likely to feel humiliated and powerless, resulting in lower self-esteem, no self-confidence, low self-worth, and their studies may be disrupted as well.
At its worst, the effects last up to adulthood sometimes and have driven victims to self-harm and committing suicide.
What can we do as a parent?
Ten ways to Nurture our Children
- Listen first, talk second
- Apologize to them when you overreact and realize it, shed away the parental ego.
- Encourage them to do things on their own, appreciate their efforts.
- Share your personal stories to teach them something important.
- Teach them to accept failures
- Teach them to take deep breathes, light yoga and meditation.
- Losing patience with a child is common, try to keep cool, they are watching and learning.
- Explore new things together, go for a walk, stay close to nature.
- Engage in some act of kindness.
- Praise effort over achievement.
In the end, I would say that the whole idea of perfect parenting is a myth, we should simply aim to be a good one. Every parent tries to be a good one for their child, just take a few more steps and be there, be aware and be present with your child.
The environment we provide for our child holds many opportunities for nourishing good mental health both at a young age and into adulthood.
I am no one to give a piece of parental advice but I am certainly trying to make an attempt to help people notice that we are heading towards a superficial world and it will lead to more depression, more anxiety, and all the more stressful environment. So let us make our children life ready.
P.S: Also published at Momspresso
Much love and gratitude