The Attitude to Life
Nowadays, the word “Depression” is thrown around quite casually right from the age group of 8-18, and with no qualms attached to it. Kids nowadays are speaking to in-house school counselors about being depressed with the scenario at home, school or even in their peer group. What do we make of this as teachers, parents?
Do we question the fact that our kids are not strong enough to deal with the day-to-day ups and downs? Do they give up easily? Don’t they know about the rainbow at the end of each cloud?
Talking about facts
Seven out of 10 kids barely even communicate to their parents about things happening in their school life unless asked about it. Why have the days when we had chirpy and over-enthusiastic kids falling all over themselves to share their school day with us gone for a toss? Who is to blame for this? The blame game is easy. It’s a vicious cycle worth reckoning.
- School counselors and psychologists are amazed at the dependency on cell phones and gadgets which the kids display. Most kids say it’s a lifesaver. There are all kinds of stories.
- A kid says, her parents have been divorced for years. She hates the to and fro life that she leads, spending one weekend with the dad and the other with the mom.
- Another used to be an extrovert. One fine day he was fat-shamed in front of the entire school assembly by another kid. This just broke his spirit and that’s the reason for his depression which has also made him non-communicable drastically.
Listening – a Crucial Skill
Are we not listening to our kids, really listening to what they have to say? Are we prioritizing our work over our kid’s mental health; our high-earning jobs over our kin’s dreams and aspirations? Where does this road lead to? Is there any redemption at the end of the tunnel?
Is depression not such a bad word after all? There are ways to deal with it. Let’s not make it out to be the next big thing. Is there a thin line between feeling depressed and feeling blue? As a parent, as a teacher how do you watch out for it?
Are we observant enough
Zilch social interaction with kids around, disruptive behavior which interferes with regular activities, seeking constant attention and approval, extremes in mood swings which waver from most happy to most sad could most possibly pass off under the garb of just having a bad day if an observant parent or teacher does not try to understand the crux of the matter.
The Red Flags to watch out for
The tantrums could further be an eye-opener for kids who are transitioning into adolescence and teenage. The red flags which we need to watch out for are mentions of inflicting personal injury, or then thoughts of suicide to keep a permanent imprint on the minds and hearts of loved ones. We need to stay alert for signs or residue of drug abuse. Most kids border on the impulsive when planning such acts.
Say no to Drugs
What is most important in this dire need of the hour?
Parents need to be resilient and empathetic. It is of utmost importance. This is because children always look up to a parent to set the example. Those are some really introspective shoes to be filled in. Imagine being watched knowingly and unknowingly. Being made accountable for each and every action, or word that you say in the open or behind closed doors. Denial that a child is going through this has to be avoided at all costs.
The agenda should be to sensitize children on harboring a strong sense of self-esteem with the right doses of hard work and appreciation of talent put in by teachers, parents and family alike. They should also be made aware of instilling qualities of accountability and self-dependency right from an early age. The mental make-up of any child should be so strong. No matter what the travails in the path of life he or she should have the grit, faith, and determination to fall seven but build back up eight times his dreams, visions, and goals.
Being empathetic; understanding your child
I would like to quote a small extract from the book – Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella – Ceo Microsoft – “However, things are always changing. If you could understand impermanence deeply, you would develop more equanimity. You would also not get excited about either the ups or the downs of life. And only then would you be ready to develop that deeper sense of empathy and compassion for everything around you.” This works like a beautiful balm to the constant unreasonable arguments that happen between a child and his parents.
A healthy and fresh perspective
Is the savior of the day! There would come a time soon when every parent would really know what works best for his child. This would bring to fruition a healthy relationship with the child’s consent of course. A day when each parent would look at his child with awe and wonder, and marvel at the new gig be it in music, or Math, or some such that the child has worked for.
Praise, motivation, and inspiration would be the keynote speakers in the parents’ psyche for their child. The narrative would change from ‘you are useless to you are simply amazing’. You would care two hoots about the societal watchdogs, and calmly drive your child to a psychologist to make sure he is heard and listened to. Also for you to be counseled at the same time to deal with the stigma of taking your child to treat his mental health quotient.
Motivating your child when studying
Sharing quality time with your child
The bigger picture talks about having perfect children with perfect career options but that does not happen. Take a hard look at yourself. Share your experiences with your children, embroil them in adventure, make them take their own decisions, let them fall, let them make mistakes and learn along the way. They will turn out to be much stronger individuals than you would ever give them credit for.
Depression would be just another word unfit in the dictionary of an adult, or a child and be trashed out of the bin with no chance of recycling. Now, that would be a stance worth moving mountains for.
We have more coming up for you to read and contemplate upon. Stay tuned for the next one coming soon!