Parents are not giving enough time to their children, neglecting their needs, which is all adding up to depression.Also, social contact is being replaced by virtual reality which is causing aloofness among the young ones. The puberty phase is the most difficult time for children as they undergo hormonal changes. In today’s fast-paced world, children are exposed to a lot of information through media, technology and society at large than ever before.
From bullying in school to the pressure to do well, from peer pressure to societal norms, everything affects your child’s mind. Hence, it is important for both parents and teachers to ensure that despite all these pressures, the child uses his or her emotions in a constructive way, thus making him/her emotionally intelligent
Advantages of emotional intelligence are:
a) Better awareness and understanding of your own and other’s feelings. This helps children control their emotional highs and lows along with enhancing their problem-solving and decision-making skills
b) It makes children more focused and attentive, thus allowing them to learn faster and grasp knowledge in a better manner
c) Emotional intelligence can boost your child’s confidence along with making him or her more empathetic towards others and situations around. This helps to decrease any aggressive or violent tendencies
d) Academically, an emotionally intelligent child will be able to cope with exam stress and pressure in a better manner along with handling peer pressure or bullying
How to make your child emotionally intelligent
a) Encourage your child to interact with others in a positive manner, to help increase their social competence. You could do this by organising a play group, sending them to hobby classes where they can interact with other children and spend some “me” time with your child.
b) Allow your children to choose which activity they would like to pursue. This will help inculcate decision-making and problem-solving skills along with taking up responsibility. A positive choice will help them enjoy the activity while a negative one can teach them how to cope up with disappointment
c) The habits your child picks up is from what he or she sees. Hence, make sure you model the kind of behaviour and problem-solving skills you would want your child to harbour. Along with that read stories to them and encourage them to talk about their own experiences without being judgmental
Ebe Chaney, Emotional Quotient and life coach
Giving time to your child is the biggest investment
Children in their early years start by enjoying their playfulness, least bothered of their surroundings. Their life starts by playing on their own, then they learn to play among their own groups but still are concerned with their own enjoyment. As they grow, they get into cooperative games and learn how to enjoy together. All these skills are learnt through playfulness.
Nowadays, children have become very object-oriented and if they don’t get access to say television, computer, video game, cellphone, Internet etc., they get hyper. They have to leave this fixation and learn to enjoy nature’s gifts. In nature, you don’t own anything, but you can still enjoy. They have to learn to enjoy watching birds, trees, insects, sky, etc. and how they are functioning. Parents should also teach their children about sharing, giving and empathy.
Also, giving time to your children is the biggest long-term investment. Whenever you get time, spend it with your children and be a part of their activities.
Every child has a playful energy, which needs to be channelised rightfully in a playful manner. If not, this same energy can have its negative effects like depression and other mental disorders.
Makarand Tilloo, Laughter Yoga Trainer
Can’t blame social networking sites for depression
All sorts of mental disorders among all age groups are on the rise as we are living a stressful and fast-paced life. Earlier, children were said to be immune from stress and depression, but the overall stress-level in society is so high that now even children are affected by it.
The whole society is to be blamed for forcing children into the rat race at every level of their lives. The depression among children is due to various reasons, which can be treated without any medication, except in extreme cases. Family therapy and cognitive behaviour therapy are the two methods to treat a child’s depression.
You cannot blame social networking sites or Internet for your child’s depression. Ideally, parents should not allow their children to access social networking sites till they are 15 years and above. It all depends on how parents protect their children from these electronic invasions.
Dr Bhooshan Shukla, Child Psychiatrist
Kids prefer living in virtual reality rather than real world
More number of children are experiencing depression due to a combination of various factors. Today, children are facing a lot of parental pressure to perform well academically apart from peer pressure.
They are detached from nature and life’s realities and are living more in virtual reality. They don’t spend time with nature and are not inquisitive about their natural surroundings.
Nowadays, children seem to be more driven by interactive video games and look for instant satiation, they are not interested in books because reading them requires effort on their part. I feel parental inputs are very important. If parents are also not into reading books, how will they inspire children to do so?
Deepak Dalal, Children’s Writer
Parents should first identify their child’s problem
Children are being pushed to perform exceedingly well to sustain in this competitive world that too during their pre and post-pubertal phase of life when major hormonal changes take place in their bodies. This is also the time when their attention starts getting diverted due to sexual feelings and issues related to it.
Access to television and Internet all the more adds up to diverting them from studies. Generally, you see boys lagging behind in their school exams compared to girls because they go through various conflicting emotions and thoughts. It is important for parents to first identify their child’s problem and then seek expert help.
Nowadays, largely both the parents are working due to which children are left alone at homes or end up spending time with their peers. This means they don’t have anybody to share their feelings with and parents don’t notice as they are preoccupied. That is why one sees an increase in incidents wherein teenagers are committing crimes.
Dr Rajendra Sathe, Clinical Psychologist & Sexologist