It is a sad reflection on society when a child cannot experience the joys that childhood should bring. There are limited pressures on a child, for them school is work. That’s in our western society thankfully; it is not the case in poorer parts of the world where they are required to chip in to the family pot with hard labour.
This ‘work’ of school is in an environment that is supposedly designed for their social development, but here in school there are unfortunately a host of pressures, and there are a host of peers that can incite depression in children. The pressures are not down to the children alone, many parents have unrealistic expectations from their kids, they may pit their children against each other, it may not be intentional, but many parents fail to see the reasons why they should not compare one of their children to the other, why they should not use the other child as marker by which to measure them.
Unfounded expectations, be they on the sports field, or in academia will pressurise the child making them feel that their very best is not good enough. When their best is not good enough, where does that leave them? Resigned and doomed to failure, with all of the negativity that goes with that. I’ve seen young parents in particular do this, and I’ve seen the look on the face of the child who was happy that he had done his very best and got a result which matched this effort, but it wasn’t good enough for the parents, they expected him to perform to the standards of his younger brother.
In the school environment also, you are leaving your children in the care of teachers who perhaps should not be teachers at all. You are entrusting your children’s education to individuals you do not know, you are entrusting the minds of your children to their approach to learning and child development. We should never forget that all adults are just grown up children, with this comes the chance that these men and women teaching our children can be immature in themselves. They can be without the people skills and the social intelligence to deal with our kids the way they deserve to be treated.
If your child gets out of hand, whilst the days of corporal punishment are thankfully long gone, words can be just as punishing and just as hurtful. I have seen children fail, and the language used by the teacher on the little tyke was demeaning in front of their peers, and bullying in many ways. Depression in children can be onset too from this kind of bullying, just as much as it can be from bullying in the playground. The classroom or the playground, what is the difference really? The child has no safe place to hide, this place where they are encountering bullying, be it from the individual who is being paid to educate them, or from the young individuals who are there to be educated alongside them, the child has no choice, but to be in this place.
Their lives are entirely dictated to them, and dropping them off into school each day may be dropping them off to a place where they feel trapped and powerless, each day you may be dropping them off to their own young personal hell. Depression in young people in the United States is by and large treated with anti-depressant drugs, but this numbing of the senses by fooling them in upping the serotonin levels, is a false fix for the child. When you are an adult depression sufferer unlike when there is depression in children, at least you have a certain amount of control on your environment. You can remove from your own life those things which bring you to your depressed state. A child has no power over these factors, I am not advocating that a child should be free to make their own decisions as they would be consistently the wrong decisions, and in essence the parent does know best, I am however advocating that a parent needs to listen to their child, to speak with them, keeping a watchful eye on their mood and be willing to admit that certain changes are not just down to growing pains.
If there is a problem, then it is the duty of the parent to uncover the problem and do everything in their power to resolve it. Your child is depending on you to help them, as they have no power or control over their lives to help themselves.