Since childhood, I loved listening and reading stories, subsequently this zeal transformed me into a writer. Importantly, in the journey of being an author, I had meticulously witnessed astonishing and incredible life experiences of pain and melancholy of children around. Obviously, it evolved with inspiring stories of incredibly bright kids, an exceptionally natural musician and influential orator who could enchant the audience with immaculate speech. However, there was a stigma, he/she hated school and did not like studies. The teachers react constantly and complain about studies, class and homework, not striking balance with the rest of the class. Finally be prey to typical APS* prey parents. The parents react by cranking the pressure, make a negative attempt to fix the child by complaining, blaming and shaming them, somehow they manage to finish the schooling. Importantly, there are millions of children in this world who do not fall into the prescribed role of good kids or young people. They don’t know where they are safe, where they belong and what their fault is. Subsequently they hate their parents, teachers, and the whole system.
Unquestionably, everyone wants their children to be exemplary, excel in studies, extracurricular activities, sports, be popular, manage their time and stay organized.
Accordingly the child who does not fit into the aforesaid standard is being dumped as a dump. In the present-day virtual world, we have lost the art of listening to one another, listening to children and especially children who are fictitiously branded unworthy. Consequently, shame is the only language being used for children who are depressed and dejected.
Above all, the pathetic situation is that the children don't come forward and say that they are depressed. Importantly one can observe their behavior and behind that, their hidden pain they internalize, they shut themselves inside the four walls, above all spend hours playing video games, get addicted to drugs they cut themselves and develop eating disorders.
The repercussions of depression and anxiety are that they turn out to be aggressive and violent actions are manifestations of their state of mind. Such children are young people who are demonized by society as a whole. One can see negative information of such vindicated children in news headlines.
According to WHO there are 600 million people who live with depression and anxiety. In this world one out of four has mental health problems, fifty percent of the mental health problems begin before the age of fourteen years. It is high time to try and understand the magnitude of the mental health problem, which needs to be addressed at the earliest
Where do these children belong? They are the most visible pain knocking the doors. The invisible state of mind is suicidal, this is the leading cause of death admits of youngsters. Studies have indicated that a student kills himself or herself every hour around the globe. Consequently, at times depressed youngsters become violent and take the life of others.
When children are robbed of their dignity, they end up killing themselves. The foremost important thing to understand is our children are not failing; rather collectively we are failing. Who cares? Who decides which child is worthy or unworthy? There is no SOP or blueprint exists to decide the worthiness of each child. Shamefully the fact is disgraceful disability of all the stakeholders in a child's life journey.
As a rule the term Intellect means intelligence, the only method we compute intelligence of a child or a youth is, as per the marks secured. The one who scores above 95% is blindly considered as intelligent without taking other factors into consideration (Disability, Intellect Sexuality, Gender, Race and Age)
The biggest menace is culture economics, one is nothing without contacts, fair and lovely looks and language. These are the acronyms which define the present-day system.
- DISGRACEFUL MONSTER (Ruining Children’s life)
By and large the society is an integral part of this disgraceful monster, moreover we are the teeth and claws of this monster damaging our children’s life, generation after generation. The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voices and the way we talk about them become their life stories. We have to be really careful about this Triple Whammy on the children’s face.
- TRIPLE WHAMMY
Firstly the children and youngsters are not aware of the injustice done to them by this dominant discourse. They presume that there is something wrong with them and think they are not good enough and don't belong to nowhere.
Secondly, we do not want to look at the pain they undergo and see their mental health problems. Subsequently to handle depression is inconvenient and too uncomfortable to deal with.
Thirdly, we know that mental health (anxiety depression) is part of a human condition but what is damaging is the stigma that silence and the shame surrounding mental health. Like living in the polluted city, one is aware very soon they will be facing consequences and these will start damaging health, but one doesn’t realize the degree of destructiveness in the long run. The same effect of the silence, shame and stigmas is harming our children.
Take a plant and you put that plant on a windowsill, what happens? It turns towards the light, children’s lives are the same, they need that light to grow and to flourish. Consequently, children who are surrounded by darkness round the clock, like the plants they wilt, the fact is there is warfare between light and darkness.
Most of you might have been fans of Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings, you will understand one has to be on either side of the way, to find your light.
For all the amazing young people around the world, keep that faith you know, need to be disruptive, subversive, question and no need to listen all the time because you are steeped in the old way of thinking, believing you’re going to create the world. Do things that make you come alive, inspire, excite and you feel enthusiastic about.
Parents, Educators and Adults Who Work With Young People and Children
The need of the hour is to start listening to our children. There is a bundle of pain accumulated inside the core of a child's heart. The most important perspective is to start looking at children who are on the lower end of the social hierarchy, marginalized, underserved and underprivileged. Importantly whatever might be the reason, start focusing on children and youngsters who are depressed.
Furthermore, start building emotionally safe spaces with children, they are naturally wired to grow, flourish, thrive, space and rise. The metaphor that comes to my mind that every child is created by God is unique. We have to be like prisms, each child/youngster has that light one needs to catch that light, have that faith in each one of them and they will find their own rainbow.
Dedicated to all children, teens and youth around the globe, share for better tomorrow.
*APS: AVERAGE POINT SCORE
Inadequate progress Less than 3
Average Progress 3 to 3.8 APS
Good progress 3.8 or more
Outstanding progress 4.5 or more