I am dismayed at how many of our kids are on anti-depressants and other forms of medications, helping them deal with the insanity and pressure of the world.
I know it is not politically correct to say it, but I can’t help thinking that a large part of the problems young people face can be avoided with simple, common-sense measures.
For example, I know that study after study links excessive social media consumption with depression.
Yes, the more time you spend on Facebook and Instagram, the more miserable you are likely to be!
So my partner and I limit the screen time our kids are allowed, and we do not allow devices in their bedrooms at all.
I also know that junk food and a poor diet are linked to low self-esteem and depression.
So we limit processed foods, offering only eat real food (real meat, real salad, real fruit, real vegetables) instead. We generally don’t allow the kids to have soft drinks in the home at all.
Yes, they complain, but tough!
We know that not enough fresh air can also cause depression and poor health.
So I try to make sure my kids get plenty of fresh air and exercise, sending them up to the local park and booting them outside when the weather is good.
Don’t be clever. Be sensible
This stuff isn’t rocket science. You don’t have to be a genius to figure it out, but you do have to be disciplined as a parent, and be able to say NO to your kids.
Most kids would love to spend all day online, eating junk food and never stepping foot outside. But what sort of parent would I be if I allowed them to do that?
Good parenting means caring for your kids to the best of your ability. Genuine, deep care means sometimes saying no, for the benefit of the person you love.
Kids do not turn out well when they get everything they want. Likewise, without boundaries and borders, kids don’t develop a sense of right and wrong, and a sense of self.
If we allow children to do exactly as they please, we will end up raising depressed, maladjusted adults.
Teaching kids to value their bodies and their minds is a privilege for parents. As a result of the boundaries I mention above – and others – I am raising four happy, mentally and physically healthy kids.
What more could any loving parent ask for!