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Who’s responsible for the mental health of our kids?

Parents, teachers, schools, governments or themselves?

Here’s what I think. I think that as humans, most of us are privileged enough to have choices. As adults, we can decide to have or not to have kids. With that choice, comes responsibility and consequences.

The issue lies not with the decision, it’s with what happens after the decision has been made and if we’re equipped, aware, emotionally switched on enough to (successfully) walk the journey.

If you decide not to, because maybe your body isn’t capable or it’s just not for you, you may or may not regret that decision - but it’s a decision nonetheless that you have to find peace and acceptance with.

But let’s say you decide to have children. Great - then what?

You practice and if you’re lucky enough, you fall pregnant. Now what?

You begin to plan; names, colours, ‘stuff’. You may even read books, move house, paint rooms, have a baby shower, go to classes.

Then the happy day arrives.

I liken it to getting married - we put so much time and effort into the wedding itself and omit to really plan for or appreciate that the real work starts AFTER the honeymoon.

How many of us REALLY know the emotional toll raising kids has on us, the additional financial pressures it brings, the pressure to create well balanced, healthy, happy humans who go on to thrive in the world.

What book did we read, film did we watch or lesson did we go to, that taught us how to be awesome parents? Actually, rewind further, what book, film, or lesson taught us to how to be awesome individuals, let alone parents?

How can we expect to raise healthy, well-balanced kids if we didn't receive that ourselves and if we didn’t, whose ‘fault’ was or is it?

Let’s not forget that teachers, governments, schools, parents are all people too, individuals on their own journey, doing the best they can with what they have.

So I guess at the end of the day, it’s a choice. It’s a decision we must all individually make to first and foremost be the best versions of ourselves and then do the best we can to pass those lessons on to all kids, whether they’re ours or not.

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