Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
Has your child become lonesome and started avoiding social contact? Does he/she not participate in activities that he/she enjoyed earlier? Have you seen any change in the eating habits or sleeping pattern? Does he/she have mood swings? Or is he/she watching too much TV?
If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then it is time to leave all your work aside and spend more time with your child. For, your child may be suffering from depression.
But don’t freak out and panic. Deal with it and there is no reason you can’t pull your child out of it.
Sit with your child and talk it out. Indulge in some leisure activities with him like watching movies or tending to plants, if you have some at home. Share your life experiences, when you were his age, even present challenges. All this will make him feel confident enough to share his cause of worry with you.
Involve him in household work and appreciate the work done by him. This way you can re-establish his faith in self, giving him the confidence to bounce back.
Invite his friends over to your place and let the children enjoy among themselves. Try to create moments where he can go back in time and live all the moments again when he was happy and content.
Encourage your child to socialize, without using any force. Take him out to parties but only to those which he enjoys. Do NOT drag him to places which you like.
Stay around your child more than you do usually. Involve yourself more with him without infringing upon his privacy.
After your child opens up with you, don’t scold him about anything that he tells you. Just give a patient hearing. And then guide him with your wisdom.
Most often, school going children are depressed over things like a comment by a friend, scolding by a teacher, leg puling by peer group, peer pressure to have a girl friend/boy friend etc. These are not serious issues to adults but to children these are. Once you, the parent, come to know of the issue the child is facing, you will be able to tackle it.
Do not approach a psychologist or counselor unless you give up and you are sure that you cannot help her.