The future of a society depends upon its children. A significant amount of care and nourishment is required to help them grow into adults, who can then contribute to society’s well-being. That is why we invest so much into their education, form laws to protect them, and have separate scientific fields dedicated to their health and health conditions. But is that enough? Are we so caught up in providing them with what we think they need that we forget to give them what they really need?
Children’s upbringing leaves a long-lasting impression on their psyche. It impacts their personality, and in some cases, mental illnesses too. A Lack of support and understanding from the family can throw a child over the deep end. Children, especially adolescents, are often misunderstood or are hardly understood. Many times, the adults in their life are wound up in their own messes because nobody treated them any better, so they do not know better. And this becomes a toxic cycle, which is incredibly hard to break.
Not answering their questions, avoiding talking about taboo topics such as sex or addiction, berating or insulting them in front of a crowd, getting enraged at their mistakes instead of communicating about how and why their action was wrong, not letting them speak their minds, trying to control them, invalidating their struggles, and asking them to refrain from expressing discomfort and just get over it—it all inevitably takes a heavy toll and creates a dysfunctional adult. That is how they end up in toxic relationships—be it platonic or romantic. That is why we have so many half-dead youngsters, who strive to live weekend to weekend partying endlessly, with no sparkle in their eyes and hollow smiles. We taunt them because they are always in the virtual world but fail to ask why they feel the need to escape from their realities.
It is the dark truth of today. But all is not lost. We need a shift in our perspective; to see children as individuals who own minds, thoughts, and consciousness. Right and timely support from one’s family can make all the difference in the world. So, be the change. Even if your children are adults now, reconcile before it is too late. And as for new parents, remember to answer your kids’ questions, encourage their creativity, accept their flaws and differences, and guide them in their journey of knowing their true self instead of asking them to embody your or society’s beliefs. Help them grow into truly healthy and happy adults and be the wind beneath their wings.