28 June, 2019
Abhinav was a ten year old obedient and polite little boy when I first met him at his parents' place. Two years later, today I happened to see him again with his mom at a supermarket. The boy surprised me today, though. It was not his physical growth or appearance that surprised me but the drastic behavioral changes that I saw in him. As long as I remember, he used to be a happy and active child. Today, he was the exact opposite. He showed little interest in anything around him. He looked withdrawn and angry. I invited them to my home and had a conversation with his mom, who is also a good friend of mine. While talking to her, I came to know how everything is not going well in her personal and professional life. She seemed mentally stressed and disturbed. It did not take me long to guess what has changed Abhinav. It is the impact of his parents' mental health that was reflected in his behaviour. We, adults get too absorbed in our own stress and tension that we hardly notice the impact it is leaving on our kids. Here's what everyone needs to know about parental mental health and its impact on child development.
● Child abuse and neglect:
Shocking incidents of children being brutally beaten up by their own parents are on a rise in Kerala today. A few months ago itself, the tragic death of a 7 year old boy who was brutally assaulted by his mother's partner in Thodupuzha, Idukki shook the entire nation Unchecked parental mental health is one of the main reasons behind this kind of atrocities in most of the cases. You often vent out your anger and frustration at kids without realising the consequences. Sometimes, you are too consumed in your own worries that you do not pay enough attention to your kids to save them from awful situations. Child abuse and neglect are the consequences of poor mental health of parents. It therefore becomes important to heal your mind before it goes out of your control.
● Behavioral disorders in children:
Have you ever wondered what makes your kids behave differently all of a sudden? It is indeed true that behavioral changes are part of growing up. It may occur due to hormonal changes or even friends and family's influence sometimes. But what if, you are the reason behind the changes in your kids' behavior? Before getting mad on your kids for their ill behaviour, ask yourself, 'Are you emotionally available to your kids when they need you? Does your mood swings affect your kids? Does your anger scares them to the extent that they start feeling that you don't love them anymore? Are your kids craving for your time?' Self analysis is important before blaming your kids for their rude behaviour. Don't let your mental stress ruin your child's life.
It is quite common to go through a stressful phase at some point in life. What you need to do is try everything possible to stay calm and composed once you realise the mental chaos. Start healing your mind at the very initial stage itself. Follow these simple tips to not let your mental health affect your child's development.
● Do not hide your stress and anxiety: It only deteriorates the situation. Share your sorrows and problems with someone you trust. It will help you release the mental pressure to a great extent.
● Be true to yourself: No one can help you as long as you are not true to yourself. Accept the fact that you are mentally disturbed and you need help. Fear of society often restricts people to share their problems and seek help. Untreated medical conditions can lead to drastic consequences.
● Talk to an expert: You may think that you are good on your own but there are always some situations where you would need external help. Sharing your concerns with a counsellor is an excellent way to release the mental pressure. An expert can guide you in finding ways to declutter the mind thereby reducing the risk of worsening the condition. It is good to have someone you can trust and depend on. If you are in need of right guidance and support then, Consolace counselling services in Trivandrum is just a click away. Together we can fight the mental battle in order to help you live a fulfilling life.
Remember, your kids deserve your share of love not your share of stress.