A very rare and uncommon disorder spreading like a Virus these days, is, “ One Size fits all”.
Not only the illiterate group, who earlier due to their lack of awareness spread this virus, but these days even the well read and highly educated people and the high class society spectrum has been severely affected by this virus. Where ever I go, I see or whatever I do, I get to hear this commonly. Its like they way we cook food at home, which is common for every member in the family whether a child or an adult. It would be fine, if left till there only, but when it comes to spreading it to the others who are feeble minded, it becomes dangerous.
As said earlier, the uneducated ones were affected because of the lack of communication and reading capacity. These days its trending to be found with an internet connection. Anything unknown, Google is the answer. All sort of information whether elated to health, food, entertainment or studies is just available at a click. The click is now becoming an issue. Due to the click, people get information right in front of them in a millisecond and the fear of the unknown and I know everything attitude and the myth that sharing or asking for help will lead to me being a fool in front of others, leads to people generalizing and ultimately, it’s like “ One size fits all”.
Its not a concern when such generalization is done with issues pertaining to fashion or media. But it’s a major concern when someone generalizes with major issues especially with education or health. Being a Mental health professional, it is shocking when clients starts generalizing issues based on few articles or issues stated.
Eg. A client, mother of a 9 years old child. The child has some minor issues related to school like does not wish to go to school, will create a havoc in the morning before going to school, a big fussy child when it comes to completion of books, eating food. Very good with sports, extracurricular and competitions. The mother being tensed discussed these issues with the counselor and at the same time started reading up on issues pertaining to school anxiety, phobia, fear, learning disability, hyperactive and so on. This reading put the mother into trouble. As she scanned through the symptoms of each off the issue stated above, she began to think that her child has all these symptoms and is suffering from Anxiety or phobia for sure. The mother was completely convinced and signs of her being hyper were noticed. It took me a few sessions with the mother to convince the mother that the child suffered none of the above issue, but if she focuses on the symptoms, chances are she may turn into an anxiety patient herself.
Such generalizing on the basis of reading an article which states symptoms of an issue, can be very very alarming. Especially when the society is stigmatized when it comes to discussing mental health related issues. Rather than discussing it with someone, we keep it to ourselves. The mind is known to follow the heart and slowly slowly we begin to start feeling and see ourselves in those disorders and then its an open invitation to the disorder to come and be a part of our selves.
So what exactly is the solution to such generalizations:
- Instruction Manual: Stop searching for an instruction manual. As parent we are well equipped with knowledge to handle our kids and don’t require a manual stating how to bring up the child
- Minute Observation: Very important is observation. Keep an eye on the child. When is the child behaving differently, what makes him behave differently?? Also keep an eye on their friends, people whom they meet, school teachers and admin staffs. Lastly but most importantly please keep in mind their age. This is an age where they wish to be carefree and not bondaged by restrictions.
- Flexibility: Very important issue noticed in very household these days, is the inflexibility in the child’s routine. After all it is a child, he will be having his mood swings. Not that you would have to give in to it, but definitely, no harm in being flexible most of the time.
- Reasoning: Noted in many homes, that Parents do not let the child speak his mind. They are reprimanded and many a times are labeled as “Story tellers”. Not that they don’t make stories, but sometimes through their story, one may get to know what exactly is bothering them and that can lead us to a solution. Listen to them and reason out with them instead of forcing them against their will.
- Reading: It’s not that I am asking people not to read, how else one will get knowledge. But I just want people especially the feeble minded one, to discuss with others or atleast discuss with a doctor who can help you out with the issue. But most importantly after reading the symptoms, please go ahead and read the solutions too and try and follow what is naturally possible.
- Experience counts: These days help is available all around and it is most of the time necessary to approach them. But do not forget the main help that lies within the boundary of your home. Grandparents. They have matured to the extent that certain places especially ways to bring up as child. No one else can know a child better than them. So do get them involved too if possible or atleast discuss with them.
- Personalizing: A major issue noticed apart from generalizing is personalizing. “ I am not a good mother”, “ My child does not like me”, “Something is wrong with me” and many more. These are some common issues noticed in many kids and I am sure that when you were a kid you too might have done all this to avoid daily routine. So nothing is wrong with you. Please do keep time and space for yourself. You too need a break.
- Foresight and Insight: Majorly Parents come up and say, “ Other kids don’t behave like this, its only my child”. When asked, “ Do you see the child behind closed doors, especially in their own homes”. Parents have no answer to these questions. Please note that what you are seeing is the child in the open environment;. No one knows what he or she may be doing at home and what their parents might be facing. Outer appearances are too good, but they can be deceptive.
- Sharing: Please do share your school experiences with the child. How your teachers encouraged you to draw, write or speak and express your thoughts. How were you when you were a child. Such experiences help the child overcome their issues and most importantly help creating a bond with you.
- Solution: Another important part is, same solutions don’t work for everyone. For some kids gestures work the best, for some kids reasoning woirks well while or some changing the environment works the best. Just like the issues, solutions too cannot be generalized.
Make a note that each one of us has traits of some or the other mental health issues. If noted carefully, one will notice these issues in themselves too. But since we are able to get along our daily chores without many hassles, we are not detected with any particular issues. The problem begins to show when we just dwell with the problem, ignoring important work at hand. So next time, you read a symptom and begin to generalize, remember the symptoms are brought about by the human mind, so are we sick or is the reading making us sick. Learn to laugh it out and then solution is in your hands……