The truth is that depression does not affect only adults, but children and adolescents, too. Depression is a disease as are diabetes, or high blood pressure. It is believed to be the disease of the future. World Health Organisation estimates that it will soon become the second public health issue in the world.
It is not rare that, while their child is playing, parents hear him/her child talking as if playing with someone. Children often talk with themselves or with their toys. That conversation may be aimed at giving life to characters in the game, and sometimes it may be a conversation between the child and an imaginary friend. Imaginary friends may be invisible or they may be dolls or other toys which are visible.
On the occasion of the Safer Internet Day, which is on 7 February this year, celebrated under the motto "Be the change: Unite for a better Internet", we have prepared a short memorandum about the most important guidelines for parents to protect children in the online world.
The moment parents are informed that their child has been born with or has acquired some developmental disability is remembered, because it is something which completely changes family life in the long run. Every parent experiences a process of mourning and abandoning fantasies about the child held before, all in a very short period of time. Then there is the phase of recovery and adjustment to new circumstances of family life. Various studies showed that timely counselling and informing about the nature of their child's disability, as well as about the possibilities of recovery and education, significantly reduce parental stress and their concerns and help them in the process of adjustment to raising their child.
Almost on a daily basis, in our clinical practice we meet parents who are helped in bringing up their children by their own parents. We also meet children who share their experience, play and activities with their grandparents. We should bear in mind that most children experience their first relationships and connections in their families with their primary carers or persons who take care of them. Such experience is very important because the child transfers it to his/her future experience in adolescence and adulthood. Thus parents transfer their own parents' experience into their relationship with their children.
There is a number of definitions of child abuse and neglect (medical, psychological, social-protective, legal). Defining the meaning of child abuse and neglect, it is important to take into account two assessments: parental/carer behaviours on one, and impact on the child on the other hand. Child abuse includes everything individuals, institutions or processes do or fail to do, which directly or indirectly harms the child or imposes risks for his/her healthy and safe development into adulthood.