“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul then the way in which it treats it’s children” Nelson Mandela

There is indeed a silent tragedy unfolding in our homes concerning the most precious jewels: OUR CHILDREN. Our children, the children of our nation, community, society is in a devastating emotional state.

The mere fact that statistics on Childhood Mental Illnesses show an increase in ADHD, Adolescent Depression and suicide in children aged 10-14.

SO WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG: Children are being over-stimulated and over-gifted with material items and deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy child hood.

If we want happy and healthy individuals we need to get back to basics:

Emotional available parents to connect with them and teach them social-skills and self- regulation.

Clearly defined boundaries and limits- you are the captain of the ship. Children feel more secure knowing that you have control.

Responsibilities such as homework, chores according to their age. This teaches them responsibility and independence. Try not to over-protect them against all mistakes and frustration. It will help them to build resilience and overcome challenges.

Balanced nutrition and consistent sleep routine ensure quality sleep. Turn their phones off at bedtime.

Spend time outdoors doing activities such as walking, fishing and gardening.

Teach them to recognise and manage their own frustrations and anger.

Connect emotionally through hugs, tickle, play, smile……

Allow creative play, social interaction, unstructured game opportunities and boredom space. Boredom awakens creativity. Don’t use technology to cure boredom.

A balanced lifestyle filled with what they NEED and not WANT. Do not be afraid to say ‘no’ if their want is not their need.

Avoid using technology during meals, in cars, restaurants and shopping centres. Use these moments to socialize by training them to know how to work they’re bored. Create a bottle of boredom, filled with activity ideas.

Instead children are faced with:

Digitally absent parents.

Indulgent and permissive parents who allow children to rule and set the rules.

A sense of right deserving everything without earning it or being responsible for obtaining it.

Vaalpark MHU