Updated: June 2, 2021 7:45:52 am
To mark Global Parents Day, the Delhi government Tuesday organised a webinar with parents and experts to discuss “approaches for emotional well-being of children” during the pandemic, with experts stressing on the need to listen to them.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, along with mental health experts Amit Sen and Shelja Sen, participated in the webinar with parents and principals.
“Adopting new parenting approaches is significant to improving the emotional well-being of our children, especially during the Covid crisis. A new normal has emerged and our old ways of parenting will not work. Our children, who would have many social interactions, are now at home. They are unable to go to school or meet their friends. The world outside is a place for our children to fulfill their dreams, but they have been made to sit at home due to the pandemic,” said Sisodia.
“Considering our children have been at home for an elongated period of time, we can see they have been going through some changes emotionally, mentally and physically. Children are more upset, irritable, and there is no balance or equilibrium in their mindset. In such times, as parents, we must adopt novel approaches and ensure we create a loving and caring environment for our children. Parents need to adopt habits of mindfulness and be more understanding. In fact, mindfulness practices in the happiness classes of the Delhi government have played a big role in easing mental stresses of our children and parents alike,” he added.
Psychotherapist Shelja Sen said children absorb stress and anxiety like a sponge. “But the difficulty is they are unable to understand their fears. They don’t have the vocabulary to understand or express these fears. Parents are busy in their own lives, and are more concerned about the future of their children. They are not able to understand what is happening to them currently,” she said.
“As parents, we start criticising their behaviour. We don’t try to understand their emotions. We shout at them, humiliate them, give them sermons. But this doesn’t yield anything because they ignore all this. It is important that we listen to them, not just with our ears but with our hearts,” said Sen.
She requested teachers and principals “to meet students where they are at, not where you expect them to be” once schools reopen. “If they have fallen a little behind, it doesn’t matter,” she said.
Psychiatrist Amit Sen said only correcting children’s behaviour is futile. “Children feel their emotions and feelings are not being heard or understood. So they start distancing themselves even more… It is more important to understand what your children feel, not to give them instant solutions,” he said.
“It is most important that children feel safe in their home; that they feel they are heard and understood in their homes, and their feelings are not made fun of… This will make communication easy. That is the biggest need today,” he said.
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