“Do we fear our enemies more than we love our kids?” For some reason, that slogan popped into my mind and I knew what it meant. Do we fear stigma and loss of social status and our own demons so much that we’ve ruined our children?
When your tooth hurts or your vision blurs or your arm breaks, you get medical attention. Why is it then that when your head, heart and spirit breaks you (often) don’t? Why is there such a lasting stigma with mental disorders? Kids need counseling because they inherited your mental disorder, and/or they have their own from all the pressure to succeed and the need to fit in. If you won’t help your kid, let them know that there are trained professionals at school they can talk to. Private counseling is available, too. If you cannot afford it, visit our website’s Resource Guide for additional information.
It’s odd that our kids are both stressed and coddled. Colleges need more mental health services because kids cannot handle simple setbacks. “Helicopter parents’” good intentions fixed, and caused, problems and now many kids can’t cope with life’s simple setbacks. It’s not their fault; they were raised this way. Do them a favor, and let them forget their T shirt, homework, lunch. It’ll be okay. From baby steps, they’ll learn how to handle bigger problems because they’ll trust themselves.
School and home are supposed to be safe places for kids. Are they? I attended a mental health meeting at Burroughs High last week and had an “aha” moment when someone said a child asked, “I’m afraid to raise my hand to get help with math. How do you expect me to ask for help with my problems?” We can only hope Common Core still gives educators time to care.
Parents: Do you look at a report card with five As and a B and ask, “Why did you get the B?” Celebrate instead! Put your helicopter in its hanger! Enjoy your family for the short while you’re all together. Vanquish your enemies, and love your children.