Thursday, October 05, 2006

In The News: 300pc Rise In Children With Mental Problems

This was an article highlighted in the New Straits Times yesterday. The statistic refers to Malaysian children. What is your reaction to such a headline?
As for me, I feel pretty sad for all these kids having to deal with such problems at such a young age. Adults always think we have it tough, we forget that kids sometimes have it tougher. Yes, children do have stress in their lives too. It's not all just fun and play for them. According to the article, the main sources of stress for these problem children were:
  • Stress at school - pressure from parents to perform and pressure to live up to parent's expectations, also stress from teachers that bully.
  • Stress at home - parents fighting at home
I'm sure they are many other stressors that were not mentioned. It is scary to think that as parents, we may be the ones driving our children nuts. I know when I was a child myself, my priority was not to be a genius. I just wanted to have many friends, be well liked, engage in activities that was of interest and to do reasonably well in school. I'm sure many of you were like that too. And yet, as we step into parenthood, we desire our children to be tops in everything. We put on the pressure because we have good intentions but sadly our actions may lead to terrible consequences. This article serves as a good warning to me. It reminds me:
  • to be reasonable in my expectations
  • that a child's happiness is more important than a child's academic achievement
  • teach my children to love life and not just to endure it
  • the home should be a place of refuge and not a place of stress
  • to have a solid relationship with my children through open communication that they may have a place to confide their fears and concerns
  • that sometimes it is better to turn away from worldly trends
One thing good about the report is it shows that more and more parents recognize that their children have a problem and are seeking help instead of brushing it under the carpet. I just pray that for many of us, we don't reach that stage before taking action.


  1. This is a charming blog. I especially like the following comments "to be reasonable in my expectations

    that a child's happiness is more important than a child's academic achievement"

    Sometimes I get the impression that too many parents are more concerned with "straight A's" and "college" than their kids happiness and health. Often those parents who boast about their childs academic achievements, spend little time boasting abot their health or happiness.

  2. I'm always skeptical when I find that a new group of children are being diagnosed with the latest mental health problem. As a child of the 70's, the problems we had did not have a medical term. We were just crazy!

    Are today's children that much different, or are today's doctors and psychologists that much quicker to give a diagnosis (any diagnosis)?

    By the way, I enjoy your site.

  3. Yes Mike, I agree with you that parents do get easily blinded by academic achievements. That's why I hope to not join that party :)

    Hi Thad,
    You give me something very good to blog about. Hope to see you here more often.


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