Forum: Parents play key role in managing children's stress

The report on mental health did not mention the most important resource to help children manage their stress - their parents (Important to bolster mental health of youth early, says Halimah, Dec 3).

Until and unless parents are educated about how their parenting behaviours, actions and habits can potentially stress out their children, and are taught to notice stress and anxiety symptoms in them, no amount of work by schools and society will help.

This is because parents can undo the good work done by teachers and agencies, for instance, and cause their children's mental health to worsen.

It is also possible that children return to a dysfunctional home.

Parents need to co-parent well, place the mental well-being of their children above their careers or business as well as marital challenges and tensions, and understand what it takes to raise mentally and psychologically healthy children in this era.

Where necessary, parents and single parents also need to seek the help of professionals to parent their children well.

More work needs to be done with parents - the first line of defence.

Frank Singam