Pay Attention to Kids Actions and Behaviors
As a parent, it is important to want to put our children in a bubble. A bubble that shields from harm, distress, emotional hurt, and anything else that would make them sad. Unfortunately, there is no bubble that can offer this type of protection. Our kids are going to experience many of these feelings and emotions throughout life. We as parents are going to face challenges concerning our kid's emotional state. These challenges can involve, bullying, friends, breakups, depression, mental illness, and feelings of uncertainty. Our kids may not know how to express what they are feeling and we may not know how to help them at the moment. It is not an easy situation for both the parents and the kids to deal with. One thing that parents may need to do to help understand their children is to listen. Listen to what they are saying, but listen to what they are not saying. Kids and teenagers often don’t fully disclose what is going on when they're upset. They may feel that parents won’t understand, or may feel embarrassed about the problem. It is a good idea to watch, listen, and learn what goes on in everyday life. If your child comes home from school and is not very talkative; then more than likely a problem had occurred. Kids who don’t express what is going on with them often hold in their emotions and feelings. This can be unhealthy and psychologically damaging.
Five years ago, my daughter had started middle school. The new school was much bigger than what she was used to and had hundreds of more children who attended. For the first month of school, she was coming home and going straight to her room. She would not talk about anything that happened, but I knew something was wrong with her. At night I would hear her cry in her room and still would not express what was going on when I asked her. School mornings became more complicated because she was always sick. She did not want to go to school, and she was her grades were very bad. The year before she went to middle school, her grades were remarkable and she loved school. Now things had changed dramatically and I was concerned about her well-being. One evening after school, I took her to the park. It was just her and me. We went for a walk and I asked her to tell me what was going on because I could not read her mind.
Finally, after about an hour of prying, she told me. “Kids were bullying me. They were making fun of me, pushing me around, and making my life miserable”. She told me that several of her classes she has missed because she would hide in the bathroom. I was stunned that this had happened and that it was happening to her. She begged me not to make her go back. I knew not only was the bullying a huge problem for her emotionally, but it was also taking a toll on her physical and mental health. She was not eating very much, and she was suffering from panic and anxiety mixed with depression. I not only confronted the school head on about the problems, but also pulled her out of school. I began homeschooling her and I believe that my doing this saved her life. She felt better, began eating, she was no longer sick at her stomach, and her grades were soaring again.
Parents should pay attention to their kids’ actions, behaviors, body language, and silence. These are important clues that can tell us something is wrong. Even if our kids tell us, “everything is okay”. These clues can change everything. The emotional status our children experience when their feelings are hurt can be extremely brutal. This is due to the mix of puberty, and changes within their inner self that also affects how severe feelings can be. Parents should realize that no matter how small we think the problem is; it is a huge problem through our children’s eyes. That should not be shrugged off, misplaced, or overlooked. One small issue can lead up to a mountain of problems that our kids cannot climb over by themselves. It is our job to recognize when things are not right, and find a way to make it better. The sooner the situation is confirmed, the faster it can be handled without escalating into something more tragic.
This is another part of parenting that should not be ignored. The use of technology can make bullying and peer influences a constant issue for kids. When I was growing up, the only time kids had to deal with bullying was when we were at school. In today’s society bullying has escalated to a 24/7 event. This is due to the evolving of technology and the interaction that kids have with it. A child can be easily bullied during school, before and after school on social media. Other kids will join in on social media because they can bully against another child without leaving the house. We as parents need to be aware of what is and is not going on with our children to help protect their emotions and feelings from everyday harm.
It is important that no matter what, we don’t give up on our kids. Even if they are acting mean, rude and hateful or preferring to be alone and/or playing with gadgets. We as parents should never stop engaging with our kids’ lives and have frequent conversations while deeply listening to them and asking them courteous questions hat show them our interest in what they have to say. Instead of forcing gadgets away from them, we need to help them find something more exciting and more rewardful. It could save their life and keep them safe. If we give up on finding out the problem that we know exists, then we are giving up on our kids. If our kids think that we may not care about what is going on in their lives; they may be less likely to let us into their problems. There are many things that our children go through that we are unaware of. They do not need to deal with these issues alone. Our kids should feel that no matter what they are feeling; they can depend on their parents. Our kids should not have to ride the roller coaster of life on their own. What methods do you use to find your children interests?