PARENTS. INTERVENE NOW
There is a pressing need for us parents to sit down with our kids, and seriously educate them about the reality of life.
We as parents, need to sensitize them to the fact that life is about UPS as well as DOWNS – both of which they will experience many times throughout their adolescent, teenage and adult lives. Life is not a bed of roses and no one is guaranteed a life of happy ever after. Roses have thorns. and unhappiness also comes after or before happiness.
Let us teach young people that no particular DOWN moment will be their last, and that UP moments do not last forever. It is highly imperative for them to learn the need to move on from any snags or bumps in the road and not stop and stand wallowing in self pity.
Our kids need to be taught to be more mental and cerebral instead of emotional. Many of the kids we are bringing up are much too highly sensitive and emotional, relying more on the dictates of their soft and gentle hearts – instead of engaging and using their brain to make logical decisions while dealing with issues.
This is the main reason why we have so many young people falling into depression and attempting/committing suicide over minor issues such as a girl leaving them or failing exams.
I might also, at great risk of high criticism, add that this could be the reason we have such a huge rate of youth violence and killings…. because aggrieved youths do not stop and THINK logically of the consequences of their actions…but rush out and dangerously act on whatever their current emotional reaction is dictating (anger, fury, jealousy, disappointment, betrayal, or even fear)
The lack of social education in Generation “X” kids is unfortunately leaving them lacking important life skills needed to deal with changing or unpredictable life situations and circumstances and unbelievably, the government and school authorities seem more intent to educate them about sex, than more important and useful social and life skills!
Kids who are overly emotional also struggle academically because they are failing to engage their brain….and spend their days agonising about problems, rather than thinking of solutions.
And cogent, intelligent, rational, logical and strategic ideas almost never emerge from emotional thoughts. Such ideas will only come out of a mental, cerebral, intelligent thought process.
If so many of our young ones are struggling with minor issues of life at such young ages, how then will they cope with adulthood and the myriad of daily issues, responsibilities and problems that come with it? (work, marriage, marital problems, kids, unending bills, debts, family issues, faith struggles, failing health, etc etc)
I recently had a long chat with a troubled youth I had been mentoring. Prone to constant feelings of depression and bouts of crying over minor issues, this youngster, in their early twenties, also had problems making friends and had been struggling academically. Had no hobbies or interests, and engaged in no physical activities whatsoever. And of course, they spent every moment worrying about these problems – until I pointed out the obvious solution to them: Being more active, going out more, thinking of what they enjoy and going out where like minded people will be; making a conscious effort to socialise and talk to people; taking up and sticking to a physical activity such as running, and basically/ practically shaking off that depressing feelings of melancholy when it approaches, rather that welcoming and sitting alone in miserable isolation, embracing it and of course, adopting a more positive attitude towards “things”
It is a choice that needs conscious efforts.
But making these suggestions are simply not enough. This kind of intervention is a process that must be followed up with several sessions of encouragement and assessment to ensure the youth is progressing, and not reverting back to their old depressive ways. Some of them may require professional help and possibly medical intervention.
But they must not be neglected or ignored and assumed as “That’s how s/he is”
That type of assumption could be dangerous.
If you have a teenager who does not talk or mix….. and is content to lock them self up in their room in isolation, THAT, is a warning sign and a possible precursor to more problems in adulthood.
But the problem is many parents – or responsible adults have little or no time to intervene in their charges lives. Also, many of us lack the necessary skills to recognise that there is a problem. A troubled youth will manifest them self in different ways: either to shut them self off from the world and be erroneously classed as quiet, reserved homebody….or act up in frustration and be classed troublemaker – especially in the school environment. Either way, anyone charged with the responsibility of looking after a child either as a parent, teacher, or youth worker must be able to pick up the signs when a youngster is troubled – and engage the necessary intervention, before the kid spirals into more serious trouble, or grow into an even more troubled – and damaged adult.
Sometimes, all that is needed is a frank, sympathetic but direct talk.
And grouping troubled kids together in some referral unit, is simply a dumb idea. They will feed off each others’ emotions and frustrations and become “brothers in frustration”, embarking on more troublesome ways to let off or act up their inner troubles. This is exemplary of many street gangs who go around committing violent crimes – just for the sake of it, and out of the misplaced justification that no one cares about them!
Ideally, each troubled youngster should be dealt with separately, according to each individual and unique needs. Alas, we live in the real world where ignorance and lack of interest in kids welfare seems paramount. Kids are more readily punished for crimes at later stages than being earlier treated for problems that could lead them down the path of crime.
And those who do not make it into crime, grow up to be highly troubled adults – violent, under-performing, self centred underachieving abusive, narcissistic, and passive aggressive partners, parents or employees. All character traits that stem from emotional troubles at childhood.
Parents, take a closer and more active responsibility for your kids.
9 Sept 2019