Mental health support key to protect children: Mother of child actress

By Munirah Al-Fayez

KUWAIT: Retaj Sbati is an eight-year-old actress and TV host seen in multiple KTV children’s shows. She became famous, says her mother Entesar Ameryan, because of her talent in acting and her abilities. Ameryan said Retaj was always a confident child, which led to teachers, producers, directors and actors supporting her in this direction. Ameryan, who is a mother of four including Retaj, said she always liked children and playing with children. “I would always tell Retaj and her siblings stories and I try to teach them and guide them in the right direction.

I found these qualities that I had in my daughter Retaj. She was probably copying what I did, so I allowed her to play my role in the house as a teacher and storyteller,” she said. Retaj would always say “Mom I want to become famous,” Ameryan said. So, she thought to herself: “Why don’t I give her the space to do that, since she has this talent and confidence in herself? Why don’t I give Retaj the right to express herself?” From then, Ameryan said, “We started this journey with Retaj. I thought I need to give her the chance and confidence in herself so that she can become someone who is important in life.

I always tell her do not become someone well known for yourself or others; become someone who makes an impact in the society you live in.” When asked about how she protects her daughter from the negative effects of fame and social media, Ameryan said: “For me as a mother, I must adapt my children mentally from a very young age to life’s problems and struggles, whether they are famous or not. I must do this because children go through a lot of difficulties in life. It could be in school or in their day-to-day life, like in friendships, relationships, society or anywhere else. Anything could happen to a child. It could be success or failure or bullying — there are so many things a child can go through.” This is her role as a mother, Ameryan said.

“I am responsible for my children and I must help them mentally adapt. I should teach them and educate them on how to deal with mental difficulties. I should tell them that fame and success do not mean that you are better than everyone. I do not believe in failure. I believe failure is the first step towards success,” she said. “I constantly tell my children that every person, whenever they fail, should pick themselves up once and twice and thrice until they are able to stand up straight. You might think that children do not understand these things, but they do. Do not take everything personally. You must move on from certain things in order to survive. I say these things almost daily to all my children.

I remind them that God is with them. I remind them to have faith in God so they are ready for the world,” Ameryan said. When asked about the effect of fame on her daughter, Ameryan answered with a smile. “The effect of fame on Retaj so far has been positive and not negative, thanks to God. This is because Retaj became more confident after she became famous. Retaj now dresses well and takes care of herself in a way that is much better than she used to before. You might think to yourself ‘how does she know that fame has not affected her daughter negatively?’ It is because for me as a mother, I watch my children and I notice the little things,” she explained.

When asked if she has any advice for parents, especially those in her situation, Ameryan said: “Parents need to understand that media in general, social media specifically, has negatives just as much as it has positives. The role of parents is to watch their children and be aware of what their children are watching. Give them the freedom to do whatever they want but be there and put boundaries. Teach them that everything has boundaries. We cannot stop them completely, but we also cannot give them complete freedom. We need to make them feel like they have freedom to choose, but we must set boundaries, because they are children.”

The post Mental health support key to protect children: Mother of child actress appeared first on Kuwait Times.

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