By Aishwarya Bhargava
“Communicate unto the other person that which you would want him to communicate unto you if your positions were reversed.” – Aaron Goldman
Communication is the most essential part of every relationship. Since our childhood we have been taught that a healthy relationship is always built on two very important things, one being trust and the other being effective communication. People who do not communicate in a relationship are the ones who are not sharing a part of themselves with others. There can be numerous reasons why a person is not able to communicate effectively in a relationship, but one of the biggest reasons is the fear of being judged, or the other person not having the time to listen. Just as communication is important in every other relationship, it is very important in the relationship between parents and their children. Effective communication is an essential part for a child’s development – it helps in building trust and understanding between a parent and a child.
Researchers from the ‘Bloomberg School of Public Health’ clearly showed that there was disconnect between the real experience of bullying victims and the signs that adults see. Communication gap between parents and children can be very harmful in a child’s development. In order to build a sense of security and trust between parents and their children, it is very important that, both, parents as well as their children are able to talk to each other freely. Children tend to form ideas and beliefs about themselves based on how their parents communicate with them since their early childhood.
With the changing world, a communication gap between parents and children has become very common these days. We often see a lot of parents complaining these days about their children spending most of their time on their smartphones or on social media, and not spending much time with them. But, if we think about this, do parents actually have time to spend with their children, or try to understand why they like spending more time on social media? Many children these days spend more time on social media or their smartphones because they do not have people to talk to in their real lives. A lot of teenagers face depression and anxiety and they are struggling to fight through this because they do not have people to talk about how they are feeling. Depression and anxiety are the most common disorders in young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 in the present time. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 10-20% of adolescents globally experience mental health conditions, yet these remain under-diagnosed and under-treated. Dealing with depression is not easy at all, it is hard to understand what one feels. Many young people feel that life is not fair or that things are not going their way. Teens need adult guidance more than ever to understand all the emotional and physical changes they are experiencing. When a teen is facing this kind of disorder all he wishes for is love, care and support. This is the time when a teen desires support and guidance from parents or family the most.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, children have also been affected mentally and physically as much as the adults. According to the World Health Organisation, due to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), children are affected by physical distancing, quarantines and nationwide school closures, across the world. Some children and young people may be feeling more isolated, anxious, bored and uncertain. They may feel fear, and grief, over the impact of the virus on their families. Due to this pandemic, children are not able to go out and play with their friends, they are not able to attend their regular classes in schools and, most importantly, they are not able to connect with other children the way they used to before. As much as adults need support and guidance to face this tough situation and overcome it, children also need to.
In India, we have often hear parents say to their children “Meri daant mei hee mera pyaar hai, tumhara ghar woh hoga jhahan tum shaadi karke jaogi, tumne abhi duniya nahi dekhi hai isliye overthink karne se kuch nahi hoga, humare time mein humne jo problems face ki hai, tum who soch bhi nhi sakte.” But, if we think about all this, is this correct? When children talk to their parents about what they are going through or what they are feeling, all they wish for is their parents to understand the situation they are in. It might have taken a lot of courage for that child to come and speak up about what is going on his or her life, and in my opinion, this is not the time to compare with what the parents may have faced in their childhood; rather this is the time to talk and find a solution so that the child can overcome the situation.
We all meet a lot of people in our lifetime, some decide to stay and some decide to leave. But there are a few gems that make a lasting impression in our minds and hearts. I too had someone like this in my life, and it is because of this one person that I am writing on this topic. She was my friend named Anjali. She had a very few friends and I was lucky enough to be one of them. Anjali was an introverted person who only spoke openly with a very few people. She had a lot of issues with her family since her childhood, and this was mainly because she was a girl child. Anjali never gave up, she took part in various activities in school, studied well and finally got admission in her dream college. It was time for her to leave her hometown and make all her dreams come true. She gave her best in whatever she did, but somewhere she felt lonely. Her friends from school and her family, both, were very busy in their own lives. She tried making friends in college but that too did not help because they never understood her. She tried her best to overcome this entire situation but little did she know that what she was facing was anxiety and depression. She started having anxiety attacks, but she could not speak to anybody about it since she had this fear that she would be judged by others. She finally thought of talking about this with her mother, but she was not able to tell her everything as well, because she knew that her mother was also worried about the conditions back at home. She always tried her best to smile in front of the world and show as if everything was fine. During the pandemic, she had to go home and this made her situation worse, because this was the longest time she had to stay at home. She tried talking to her parents and family but they were too busy in their own lives that they could not give time to her. Nobody understood what she was going through and she took a step that no one could ever imagine. I lost my friend, a friend who was there to listen to everyone, but had no one to listen to her. After she took the drastic step of ending her life, people spoke about how she did not think about her parents or other people in her life before taking this step. Committing suicide is a big decision that someone might take and saying that the person did not even think about the other people, maybe parents, family or friends, before taking such a decision is wrong. We might never be able to understand what the person might be going through or why s/he took such a drastic step. I am not saying that she was right in taking this step but we will never be able to understand what she might be going through.
It is very important for all parents and children to bridge the communication gap in their relationship, in order to have a healthy relationship. There is a generation gap which often makes it difficult to understand what the other person might be going through, but I feel that if we try, we might both be able to understand and support each other. Parents, please give time to your children, they might not say it but they need you.