There is a silent tragedy that is affecting today’s children and parents are a major factor of causing it. But it’s not yet too late, we could still act about it but we have to do it quickly before it takes or precious children away!
The Silent Tragedy
That silent tragedy is a mental illness in kids. In the past 15 years, researchers have been releasing alarming statistics on a sharp and steady increase in mental illness in kids, which is now reaching epidemic proportions:
- 1 in 5 children has a mental illness
- 43% increase in ADHD
- 37% increase in teen depression
- 100% increase in suicide rate in kids 10-14-years-old
As painful as it can be to admit, but in many cases, we, parents, are the reason for our children’s struggles.
It is scientifically proven that the brain has the capacity to rewire itself through the environment. Unfortunately, with the environment and parenting styles that we are providing to our children, we are rewiring their brains in the wrong direction and contributing to their challenges in everyday life.
If you’re asking if what’s wrong with our parenting, it’s because our children are being deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy childhood, such as:
- Emotionally available parents
- Clearly defined limits and guidance
- Balanced nutrition and adequate sleep
- Movement and outdoors
- Creative play, social interaction, opportunities for unstructured times and boredom
Instead, we provide our children with:
- Digitally distracted parents
- Indulgent parents who let kids “Rule the world”
- Sense of entitlement rather than responsibility
- Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition
- Sedentary indoor lifestyle
- Endless stimulation, technological babysitters, instant gratification, and absence of dull moments
Parenting is such a challenging responsibility but there is no shortcut in raising your child, you should do it with love and patience. Our children pay for the loss of well-balanced childhood with their emotional well-being and we are making mental illness in kids worse.
What can we do?
If we want our children to grow into happy and healthy individuals, we should go back to basics. It is still possible to help our children! To improve our children’s emotional state we should implement these:
- Set limits and remember that you are your child’s PARENT, not a friend. Offer kids well-balanced lifestyle filled with what kids NEED, not just what they WANT. Don’t be afraid to say “No!” to your kids if what they want is not what they need.
- Teach responsibility and independence. Don’t over-protect them from small failures. It trains them the skills needed to overcome greater life’s challenges.
- Teach delayed gratification and provide opportunities for “boredom” as boredom is the time when creativity awakens.
- Be emotionally available to connect with kids and teach them self-regulation and social skills.
If you want to learn more about how to help our next generation to cope up with mental illnesses, read Victoria Prooday’s blog about this.
Victoria Prooday is a registered Occupational Therapist and Psychotherapist and has been working with children and parents in the field for over 15 years!
“We must make changes in our kids’ lives before this entire generation of children ends up having to deal with mental illness in kids will be medicated! It is not too late yet, but soon it will be,” Victoria wrote.
Credits: Victoria Prooday