The greatest gift of all
Cannot be bought in stores or malls
It is the treasure of being heard
truly heard
It is the gift of listening to
hopes, fears, dreams, and hurts.
Listening demonstrates
acceptance, caring and hope,
taking time to listen,
fosters trust and respect,
the gift of your presence
truly listening opens doors to caring relationships
It’s the greatest gift of all

(Courtesy – Manodarpan CBSE)

The above poem inspires me profoundly and helps me reflect on the Psycho-emotional quotient each of us has during different stages of our lives. I am excited to touch upon the topic of Mental well-being, which has become an integral part of our progressive education system. Though I never had support during my growing up years as a student, and no one spoke about mental well-being those days or expressed feelings freely, I have realised that it has now become an integral part of growing up.
Many of us (80’s kids) strongly believe that we had the best education, teachers and learning strategies for enduring understanding; however, what haunts me is why there was a taboo on expressing openly about mental well-being or mental health. Why were many of us never encouraged to say the right emotions at the right time? I try to convince myself by thinking that “Maybe the world wasn’t too complicated and tough when I was a student.”

What is the reason for the growing need for Mental well-being now?
Many pieces of research around the world reflect that ⅕ th of children and adolescents experience the mental health concerns like stress, depression, anxiety, learning disability, bullying and lack of interest in anything they do.

Who are the stakeholders in strengthening a child’s mental well-being?
I firmly believe that the family is the primary and the most valuable social unit that can support the child in strengthening their mental health.
But being parents of the 21st century claiming to have a progressive mindset, have we ever tried to understand the complexity of our relationship with our children? Do we try to know if our children face emotional or behavioural difficulties? Have we been patient enough to hear what they have in their defence? Have we spent quality time with our children to listen to what they aspire for? Have we ever observed why our children have become so comfortable wearing mask post covid and feel so uncomfortable talking to people without them? Have we ever questioned why our children prefer to lock their rooms despite us being friendly,  liberal, empathetic and open-minded? As parents, we must introspect and sensitise ourselves to understand what our children feel and how best we can help them.
Please pay attention to the teacher’s feedback, Meet the school counsellors for help and train the child to practice the service now strategies to build and strengthen resilience.
As parents, show your unconditional love and affection towards your child. Trust them, offer acceptance, stop comparison, appreciate them and guide them on a righteous path.
Please hold their hands and tell them, “It’s ok to make mistakes as they help them learn better lessons in life”.

Let’s widen our horizons and make our children emotionally and mentally strong, stable and healthy by always being there for them with our words and actions.

Mumtaz Begum Senior Academic Coordinator
Ekya BTM Layout

Posted by Ekya

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