Alarming child mental health crisis

Your cover story on the alarming incidence of mental illnesses among children of all ages was an eye opener (PW October). In the majority of Indian households, the issue of mental health is swept under the carpet with family members hoping the problem will go away with the passage of time. As parents, we need to shed social stigma, learn to confront uncomfortable situations head-on and help our children find professional counselors.

Children particularly in the transitional stage between teenage and adulthood, face numerous challenges ranging from bullying, academic pressure to constant social media scrutiny. Today’s digital age is nerve wracking for teens and as parents we need to be there for them.

Tripthi Bhatnagar
Chennai

Ensure children’s emotional well-being

I work as a middle school teacher and was happy to read the feature on mind-mapping (PW October). Creating diagrams to visually organise information is a great way to boost children’s attention spans and retention. I look forward to reading similar teaching-learning focused features in future PW issues.

I must also congratulate you on an excellent cover story on child mental health. I must admit I was ignorant about the many mental disorders children are vulnerable to and red flag indicators such as loss of interest in once pleasurable activities; erratic eating habits; sleep disorders and extreme mood swings. I believe introducing a no-gadgets day at home and spending quality time with children will go a long way in ensuring their emotional well-being. Every child has a right to a happy, stress-free childhood.

Malini Goel
Bangalore

 

Children-focused pages request

Thanks for the Activity Zone section featuring the lemon volcano experiment (PW October). My sons loved conducting the experiment.

They also enjoyed reading the Fun with Words section. It would be great if you can introduce some pages dedicated to children and teenagers.

Veena Mandal
Bangalore

 

Eco-warriors need

Congratulations on publishing an informative parenting magazine. I enjoy reading it and in particular the Health & Nutrition essays written by Dr. Gita Mathai. Her recent column on the plastics invasion was very timely. I believe the need of the hour is to sensitise parents and children to the grave consequences of rapid environmental degradation. I volunteer with an NGO which works in the area of environment conservation.

One of the biggest challenges facing humankind is rampant plastics use. Every parent must take a pledge to minimise, if not eliminate, plastic use. It can be done through simple ways — for instance by taking to cloth bags and using eco-friendly food containers made of palm leaves or ceramic in the kitchen.

Parents and children also need to assume the role of citizen activists to prevent shops from using plastics. We need to motivate and enable generation next to conserve and protect the environment.

Shekinah Nambisan
Trivandrum

 

Perceptive and informative

I am an avid reader of both your publications — ParentsWorld and EducationWorld. I think it is appropriate that your publications focus attention on new-age afflictions — from digital-age addiction to the Internet and gaming, easy accessibility of porn to eye-strain owing to over-exposure to digital devices. The October issue of EW also had an excellent story on the growing relevance of boarding schools in the light of hectic and stressful living conditions in our cities.

The PW October cover story on the child mental health crisis confronting India also had useful insights for parents who need to become sensitive to behavioural changes in children. New-age parenting is full of complexities. Thank you for very perceptive and informative stories.

Mary Maya Puthencherry
Delhi

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