Parenting is a tough job, and it becomes even tougher when your child is depressed. Not only the child but the parents also feel helpless and scared when the child is depressed. Parents would give up anything to see their child happy. However, if your child is suffering from depression, instead of feeling depressed yourself, try to consider it as an opportunity for your child to learn how to cope. This will help them solve problems as they grow up.
There are a few important things to consider if your child is depressed. You can be a great help to pull your child out of this depression.
Know that depression as a curable disease
The first thing you need to do as a parent is consider your child’s depression as a disease and stop blaming the child or yourself for the situation you are facing. Good doctors play a great role in helping your child recover from depression, however, more important is the role of parents. Parents’ support is what a child needs during depression. You as a parent need to understand that your child is going through a period which makes him/her feel sorry, worthless and lonely. Your love, care and support can help the child cope with the critical situation.
Do your homework as a parent
You need to do your homework by reading about depression, its symptoms, causes and treatments. Once you are aware of the problem and its causes, you will be able to better look after your child who is suffering from depression.
Talk with your child
It is hard to have a conversation with a child who is depressed as all you get in response to probing questions is a “yes,” “no,” “fine,” or “I don’t know.” Here comes the tough part, where you have to make an effort to talk to your child and make them feel open toward you to share what they are feeling. Being able to talk out what you feel is a great escape from feeling sad or depressed.
Although it is hard to talk to your child about a few things, in such a scenario, you need to do it. If you feel that your child is depressed, do not hesitate to talk to them about any suicidal thoughts because they might be already having such thoughts. Bringing up this topic might give relief to the child by discussing it with you.
However, you need to be very composed and patient while listening to your child’s suicidal thoughts. Make sure that you talk to your child as a friend and make them feel like they are needed and people love them.
Don’t let your child escape responsibilities
Even if your child is depressed, do not let them run away from their responsibilities. Coaching style is the best for parents to make their depressed child do the homework or help in the household errands. Making them do routine tasks with you will allow them to stay busy and avoid the feeling of loneliness and depression. However, a depressed child will always require more attention and support to perform a task.
Let your child socialize
Socializing with family and friends is an effective way to help a child with depression.
For parents, patience is the key. You cannot expect to see a sad, and depressed face turned into a happy face overnight. It will take time and for that, you need to be patient.
Last but not the least, encourage your child to enter therapy. Apart from family support, a child suffering from depression must begin therapy to treat it. Parents should keep a check over medication and therapies.
If you believe your child is suffering from depression, then start the process and get the help your child deserves.