Raising an emotionally healthy child can be a challenge these days. Are you communicating? Are you using the right words? The right tone? What’s your facial expression? What’s your kids’ facial expression?
Silence at the dinner table, the slamming of bedroom doors, arguments, tantrums and tears. No one is denying that parenting a child or teen is hard. However, for the most part, mood swings and the occasional outburst should be exactly that; occasional.
In recent years, child and adolescent mental health statistics have become increasingly alarming.
Anxiety in young people is now commonplace. According to the Institute of Mental Health in Singapore, stress-related, anxiety and depressive disorders are common conditions. These are seen at its Child Guidance Clinics that treat children aged six to 18.
In fact, the clinics saw an average of about 2,400 new cases every year from 2012 to 2017. National Institute of Education’s Associate Professor Jason Tan said the types and levels of pressure faced by the youth today have increased.
How Social Media Can Affect Children’s Mental Health
Citing how the rise of social media has created self-image issues. According to Professor Tan, students are exposed to youth around the world. They are not just competing with their classmates or peers anymore.
This may lead them to have unrealistic expectations. He added that online bullying is also a major problem. “Unfortunately, there are not enough safeguards in place. ”
“Mental health issues are silent, invisible killers,” says the professor. “[Those who are] unable to understand them or spot the signs may simply tell these youth to snap out of it or stop being lazy.
“[Mental health issues are] difficult to handle – both for the affected individuals, and their teachers, friends and parents, too.”
To help raise emotionally healthy kids, you need to adopt a flexible parenting style that is mindful of a child’s developing brain. There is no hard and fast rule. Adjust as you go as your children face different challenges in their daily lives.