Discussing ‘touchy’ topics is never easy for a parent and that’s the reason we keep emphasising that parents must connect with their children from an early age. This, hopefully, will cut out the ‘you just don’t understand’ phase.
Remember, no drawn-out sermons – and avoid direct questions. This does not means avoiding the issues. It means being tactful and discreet. It means asking questions such as, “what do you think about…?”, or “how to you feel about…?”. Always keep in mind that you are the most influential person in your child’s life. Without judgement, listen to your child’s responses and never compromise on your views and expectations. It’s important that you highlight the consequences of certain actions.
Peer pressure is a common problem that many children face. It’s your responsibility to help your child identify and resist this influence. Depression is another obstacle many children face. Activities with peers, rather than ‘alone time’ on social media, can help protect children from feelings of despair – and from ‘Fomo’ (fear of missing out).
Bullying has become cyber-related which has made it more widespread and more invasive. Sex, drugs and alcohol are among the other issues you will need to discuss with your child. Children need to know and understand the outcomes of casual sexual activities, the misuse of alcohol and the dangers of drugs.
Another obstacle is obesity, which can cause your child to be excluded by his/her peers. Be aware of what your child is eating and ensure that it’s a healthy diet. Obese children are also at risk of lifelong ailments such as heart disease and diabetes.
On-screen violence, seen on TV, movies, in video games and even in music, is known to cause anxiety among certain children, while in others it has led to a lack of empathy, and in some aggressive behaviour. It is advisable for you, as a parent, to be aware of what you are watching and what you are allowing your children to watch – and pay attention to your child’s media use. Teach your children to be discerning and selective.
None of the problems you will face with your children are insurmountable. We at Capulum College have a team of professionals who are able to help you help your child.