by Anne Arouna
In the 70’s, living in Africa, we were not allowed to speak our mind or speak up when something was wrong. I kept my anguish inside, but my body language proved that something was wrong. Although I went to visit mummy on holidays, each time I was leaving her, there was a sense of sadness.
I was always emotional. At 16, I lost my dad and returned to my mum. 10 years of my childhood had been taken away. The bond had been broken. This has an impact on my life till today. This shows that children’s emotions, children’s mental health matters.
Nowadays, with the era of social media and technology, parents have no time to look after their children properly anymore. Reading time is replaced by television. Children’s games and cartoons hide dangerous mind control.
The children are addicted to television, the internet, and as a consequence, sleep late. Movies and soaps are full of crime scenes or suggestive materials. Then, these kids go to school with flashbacks from horror movies, bloody scenes, sexual content, all derived from TV and the internet.
The parents are too busy working. Junk food is the diet of their children which the parents themselves eat. Therefore the kids grow up and learn bad habits and acquire addictive habits. No more healthy meals. They don’t drink water anymore!
Many marriages are broken also. There is a rise of single parents. And we wonder why children behave some certain ways. All these things mentioned above are evidence of poor parenting and unhealthy lifestyles. Children are suffering a lot. Parents cannot even see what is happening to their kids. Others can, in particular the teachers.
Imagine these children grow with all these emotion within them! How can they behave right? They start rebelling, becoming disruptive, and their mental health suffers. Eating disorders, self harm and depression are on a sharp rise with children.
Lets encourage awareness of mental illness. Children’s mental health matters. Our children are the future and our hope. Let us have time and listen by observing them closely.