Children are the most beautiful creation of Almighty God. They are innocent, tender, and gentle. They are free from all kinds of contamination around the world. During this golden period of childhood, when they are supposed to be happy and cheerful, they are often found to be gloomy, stressed, and depressed.
Depression among children is on the rise. This is an alarming concern and requires the attention of both parents and teachers.
Some of the most common symptoms to identify stress or depression among children can be roughly summarised as follows:
If children seem to be sad and uninterested in their regular school activities or any other hobby or activity. They prefer to spend time alone and interact less than usual. They avoid making eye contact with others while talking. They lack energy, interest, or enthusiasm for school tasks or any other task. They find it difficult to fall asleep or might prefer to sleep the whole day. They find it difficult to focus and might also underperform in school assessments. Might cry more often or show disinterest in personal grooming or appearance. Might consume too much or too little food.
Parents and teachers collectively have a very important role in identifying, counselling, and helping children deal with such symptoms both in school and at home.
The most important thing to do is talk to them about their feelings.
Elders in society can be empathetic while interacting with children and teenagers without making any judgements. They need to develop a relationship based on trust so that children feel comfortable sharing their innermost feelings. But, at the same time, it is important not to push them to express themselves beyond their comfort level, or else they might completely stop communicating. Allowing them their comfortable space will eventually build trust.
The next best thing would be to approach a therapist, as they have age-appropriate questionnaires and assessment techniques that are scientific and methodical. It is also important to continue with the therapy and follow the instructions.
Parents and teachers need to focus on the strengths of the children instead of their weak areas. Weak areas can be addressed, but in a friendly, constructive, and empathetic manner.
Children can be engaged in meaningful physical and creative activities that will nurture them mentally. Participation in games and sports is a great way to stay away from stress or anxiety. Children need to consume nutritious food, sleep, and engage in physical activities like swimming, cycling, jogging, dancing, etc. Physical exercise and a nutritious food intake will surely reduce anxiety and enhance self-confidence. Yoga and meditation have their own benefits. They should be introduced to the beautiful world of the fine arts, which includes art, music, and poetry. Indulgence in any form of fine art can act like therapy for people of any age.
Socialising is another great way to remain engaged. An active social life will keep the children’s minds occupied. Social connection with like-minded people is a great source of happiness and motivation. People who share similar passions often motivate each other. Travelling can definitely enhance self-awareness and positive feelings. It is important to reduce screen time, which includes interaction on social networking sites.
Parents and teachers need to value their feelings and treat them with respect and kindness, which in turn will eventually make them feel comfortable, safe, and secure. Children will surely bloom, shine, and flourish if their emotions are valued and nurtured.