Communication is key to preventing child suicides
Relationships between parents and their children define, to a large extent, the psychological state and behaviour of the child.
Experts in psychology reiterated this to me constantly while I was researching the rising trend of child suicide and suicidal tendencies.
While writing the articles, I could not help but dissect my own relationship with my parents and how much of an effect that it has on me.
My parents and I are close. Partying with your parents is probably something most people would raise an eyebrow at. But if you have cool parents, why not?
We talk fairly comfortably about most things and party together - Mambo night at Zouk was one we all enjoyed.
My parents have created a space where I feel I can raise most topics with them - from what I want to do in life to things most people will confide in only to friends, like dating, drinking and dumb things my friends and I get up to.
I don't hesitate to invite them to nights out with my buddies.
Of course, there are things we are still working towards talking about candidly. But generally, I speak my mind and my parents are good at listening and trying not to judge.
But it wasn't always like this.
Growing up, things were not so easy.
My parents were strict, perhaps not as strict as others, but strict enough that I felt afraid to speak my mind or to ask for help.
There were so many rules, many of them unspoken, and I assumed everything was a "no".
There was a time when friends and cousins would not bother asking if I could do anything after school or have a sleepover because my answer would always be, "My mother says no", even before actually asking her.
Those years were a struggle, and looking back at some of my photos and writing, I can see that I was an angry and negative teenager. I resented my parents and wallowed in self-pity.
From tearful fights to sneaking around behind my parents' backs, I regarded them as the enemy. Which meant that anytime I had a problem, I felt alone.
Speaking to psychologists, I realised how much of this was because of a breakdown in communication with my parents, a problem so many children face.
Many experts talk about human relationships and strong family ties as a crucial element in preventing suicide and depression in children.
Looking at my own experience, I could not agree more.
Whether it is a lack of time or an inability to see eye-to-eye on many topics, it is easy for parents to leave children feeling alone and alienated from what is meant to be their most solid source of support.
It matters less what your parenting style is like, or your ambitions for your child. Or what kind of struggles you face.
Sometimes, all it takes is a kind word or offering a genuine listening ear to remind children they have someone there.
Trust me, it makes a difference.
As I got older, the way and frequency at which my family communicated changed, and while life still throws challenges at me, it now feels so much less scary.
Because I know I have a pair of solid allies for life - daddy and mummy.