Chil­dren and De­pres­sion !

The Miracle - - Women - By: Asma Shums, Mort­gage Bro­ker

As par­ents, we are of­ten wor­ried about our chil­dren’s safety. We usu­ally worry about sit­u­a­tions that are spread across the spec­trum of in­juries that are hu­manly pos­si­ble for a child to suf­fer. For ex­am­ple, we con­stantly worry if our child has fallen of their bike and suf­fered a scrape on their knee, whether their friends are good in­flu­ences, their eye­sight when they watch tele­vi­sion to the re­ally dan­ger­ous sce­nar­ios we fan­ta­size about such as kid­nap­ping or ac­ci­dents on their way to school. We, how­ever, fail to watch out for the deadly killer in our child lives that of­ten comes unan­nounced and hides with­out a trace for us to fol­low. De­pres­sion. We have du­ties as par­ents to pro­tect our chil­dren, to strengthen them, pro­vide all the nec­es­sary tools to be up­stand­ing cit­i­zens. Along th­ese re­mark­able life lessons, we should be also nur­tur­ing them to be men­tally strong to open their feel­ings to us and vi­sion us as their safe space. De­pres­sion can have many signs and symp­toms and of­ten none at all. One would usu­ally be re­minded to look for changes in their child’s moods- is he/she in­creas­ingly sad? Reclu­sive? Silent? Cry­ing? Of­ten our chil­dren can ap­pear as their nor­mal self and hide the war wag­ing in­side their minds rather im­pres­sively. So what can we do? 1.Cre­ate a Space with Warmth, Care, Love, and Un­wa­ver­ing Sup­port. Proper parental sup­port is al­low­ing your child to open up to you with­out dis­count­ing their feel­ings as in­valid. Try ask­ing your child ope­nended ques­tions that al­low them to de­scribe the event or feel­ings rather than a sim­ple yes or no an­swer. Avoid try­ing to cor­rect your child’s emo­tions and in­stead fo­cus­ing on lis­ten­ing and pro­vid­ing en­cour­age­ment and pos­i­tiv­ity. This al­lows your child to vent to their big­gest sup­porter while learn­ing to en­gage in their emo­tions to be a stronger in­di­vid­ual. 2.Teach and Prac­tice Emo­tional Strength Your child has learnt al­most ev­ery­thing in this world through his or her par­ents. They have learnt to walk, to mit­i­gate ar­gu­ments, to com­pro­mise, to de­velop re­la­tion­ships, and most im­por­tantly deal with anger and dis­ap­point­ment through you. By en­cour­ag­ing the prac­tice of mind­ful­ness, par­ents can teach their chil­dren the im­por­tance of rec­og­niz­ing con­se­quences of their ac­tions on oth­ers. Ad­di­tion­ally, when faced with an ag­gra­vat­ing sit­u­a­tion prac­tic­ing mind­ful­ness and calm­ness in your re­sponse your child can learn re­spond­ing to stress­ful sit­u­a­tions with strength and not re­ly­ing on drugs, al­co­hol, or other de­struc­tive be­hav­ior. 3.En­cour­age and Fa­cil­i­tate Pos­i­tive Re­la­tion­ships Hu­mans are so­cial an­i­mals and we need peo­ple around us to lead a pos­i­tive and healthy life. En­cour­age your chil­dren to form friend­ships with their friends in school or ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties. By ex­pos­ing your chil­dren to peers, you give them the tool to as­sess how oth­ers are pro­gress­ing in life and op­tions which they can make for them­selves. Tak­ing risks and fac­ing chal­lenges is the key to be­com­ing an emo­tion­ally strong in­di­vid­ual. Try not to con­trol your chil­dren and man­ag­ing their re­la­tion­ships. 4.En­cour­age your Chil­dren to do Bet­ter no mat­ter what THAT is Par­ents in most com­mu­ni­ties are guilty of forc­ing their chil­dren to fol­low a set map of suc­cess that has been fed down through gen­er­a­tions as the ul­ti­mate for­mula to be happy. Be­com­ing a doc­tor, lawyer, or banker is not the key to a happy life, but may be for some peo­ple. En­cour­age your chil­dren to prac­tise arts, sciences, ac­tiv­i­ties, or any­thing else they might show in­cli­na­tion to­wards. There is no “one so­lu­tion fits all” for bat­tling teens with de­pres­sion or men­tal health is­sues but we can play a big part as the cat­a­lyst for it or medicine for our chil­dren. Al­ways re­mem­berthey need to know you love them and want only the best for them. Some­times this might be best con­veyed through putting our­selves in our teen bod­ies and re­mind­ing our­selves how this ap­proach would feel if done by our par­ents.

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