Mother and Mental Health- when you see these two words you won’t realize the invisible connection between these two. But, if we think deeply, we’ll find a strong bond between mother and mental health. We, the teenagers, have been through difficult times in our lives like sadness, anxiety, and even depression. In my opinion, mental health is a really important subject for everyone, especially for teenagers. Many of our mothers are our best friends and they have been there for us in our bad days. They helped us to get through our nightmares and made sure we were okay. I have been listening to some of my friends from all around the world about how their mothers have helped them to get through some of the hardest times in their lives. I would love to share some of their stories.
Hailey Kankanamge is a 16 years old Sri Lankan high school student living in Croatia. I have been friends with her for quite a long time. And to be honest, I love her mom Mrs.Kankanamge a lot. I remember I was on a video call with Hailey and her mother came by and greeted me saying “Hey Opshee!” in such a lovely way!
“The relationship between my mom and me is strong. I wouldn’t call her my best friend like some people do, because I feel like I have a different kind of bond with her. I have major respect for her and she does respect my privacy as well”, said Hailey. Like any other teenager, Hailey has been through some sad moments in her life too which made her weak. Fitting into a new place and being betrayed by her friends was a great shock for her. But her mom got her back very well. Hailey’s mom never forced her to do anything. In her words, “I make sure to give them enough space to think through while also making sure to let them know that I will be there if they want to talk about it”. What I love most about Mrs. Kankanamge is how she gives children enough space while having their backs. She believes that “trust is everything when it comes to a mother-daughter bond. However, kids at my daughter’s age also need their personal space so I wouldn’t prod on them to tell me every single thing going on in their life. I have respect for that, as long as they don’t do anything really bad and keep it a secret.” I love the way how her trust has helped Hailey to count on her mother and get through her difficult times and anxiety.
Junyiah Reign is also a 16 years old 10th grader from the U.S. Reign has always mentioned how her mom is really interested about trying new things in life, how much she would love to write a book of her own and how much she’s been interested to know more about other religions. Sometimes Reign feels that no one is there to get her back. Her and her mom Mrs. Pheonix have a really fun relationship. Her mom always helps her to get through her anxiety. “My mom is great at helping me to cope with my anxiety. She tries to help me in every possible way, even when I pretend that I don’t need any help”, as Reign said. Reign’s mom has always taught her to keep their heads up and be confident even in situations that made them feel very down. I really love the way she taught her daughter to be strong and rise up from the things which weaken her. “I would tell them that today is over and a tomorrow is a new day, and what’s done is done”, says Mrs. Pheonix. She is always there to listen to her daughters. “Sometimes it’s as simple as listening”, according to her.
Ahmad Nassar is a 17 years old high schooler from Syria. I always loved the way Ahmad proudly says he is a feminist and also how much he respects his mom and loves his younger sisters. Like most of the teens of Syria, the war had a bad effect on Ahmad as well. But other than that, he is a normal teenager just like us and feels stressed and has bad days too. All these years Ahmad’s been really close to his mom. He always tells me that “My mom is like my best friend, she’s always been there for me and I’m always there for her as well.” Seeing his hometown turning into a ghost town and not getting into a college at his first try, were some of the saddest moments in his life which made him depressed at times. His mom Maysaa Al-Halaby has been super helpful and she always reassures that everything’s going to be alright when he feels down. “Mom was the one who helped me to determine my goals, looking for ways for me to travel and have a better life.” Ahmad has never given up on something too easily. He always studied hard and whenever he felt down he remembered his mom’s words, “Giving up is not an option”. His mom feels it’s very important to help her children and support them. “The way I look at it is, their depression is my depression as well. Life is teaching them that they can tell me anything and I’ll always be there to help them.” I love the way she made Ahmad realize that giving up is never an option no matter how difficult the time is.
Read the 2nd installment here.