I have been dealing in my clinical room, on weekly basis, with young adults having terrible panic attacks, anxiety, depression and total melt downs over exams and life in general. What are we teaching our children? Have we lost the art of communication with our own children? I know it is hard to balance work and home life, but somehow we must address this problem before it’s too late.
No one gives us a manual to be well-balanced parents and believe me this is not a blame game. Try to look back on your own childhood. Remember what you liked and didn’t like when your parents were strict or indifferent. You can change your own behaviour and don’t let history repeat itself. We were all young once. Explain to your children why you are making a decision or losing your temper and not just say, ‘because I said so’, that’s not good enough. Remember how frustrating it was when our parents used that on us. I know you are probably tired and there may be other things happening in your life, but you have to lead by example. You are your child’s mentor. If you behave badly, they will think that is norm and they will have anger issues as they get older. It is much harder to correct issues as they get into their teens. If you lose control, you have already lost the battle.
Try to give your child some structure in their lives, which in turn gives you structure and peace of mind. Keep to a timetable. Wake up at a good time to have a healthy breakfast together and a chance to put them at ease before going to school. School is not a pleasant experience as we all know and now with mobile phones, social media, and reality shows, it’s even harder. Bullying is becoming harder and harder to deal with and control in and out of school. Make sure you have an evening meal together at the dining table to catch up on any other problems they may be facing and try to make meal times fun and relaxed.
It is very difficult to explain to our children about adult behaviour when they see parliament footage of MP’s screaming at each other and never making a clear decision, which they then retract later after they have got into power. These people are running our country and can we trust them? Another example is the recent Panorama programme showing nurses and care-workers abusing vulnerable people. Again where is the trust and decency? I have also had adult clients revealing bullying in their workplace and people lying when they know they have made mistake, but blaming it on someone who is unable to defend themselves. How can we teach our children about honesty and trust when adults do not act in the correct manner? All bullying should be dealt with and there should be a consequence, which is carried out and not allowed to continue.
As adults we have a responsibility to our younger generation that the world can be a safe place because we do not tolerate bad behaviour from any individual, group, organisation or government. Let’s try to stamp out this bad behaviour, which will stamp out bullying and unfairness everywhere, showing it is not acceptable or tolerated.