THE BLOG

It's Time To Put Kids' Mental Health First

28/04/2017 15:20

I believe that the current education system is damaging our children's mental health.

I've seen first-hand how it can attribute to children suffering from low self esteem, doubt, fear and not feeling good enough.

If we can tackle these issues in childhood, they won't be carried into adulthood.

The women I've coached over the years all remembered something that had been said to them at school that had knocked their confidence. It was still affecting them in later life.

My eldest has been bullied and told such horrible things I hope no-one else is ever told. He prayed each night for a 'happy life' - he's only 7. My 6 year old asks why he needs to go to school because he can't see the point of it and my 4 year old cries when I leave her.

I've had 8 year old girls come to me for help because they're already worried that they aren't clever enough. 12 year olds who've just started secondary school have been given their predicted GCSE grades as a standard to live up to and constantly be compared to.

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Image - Author's Own

The teenagers I've been coaching have all felt the pressure on them as they're about to sit their GCSEs. They were anxious, stressed and depressed - terrified that they'd be 'a failure' and let their teachers and parents down.

We've got this all wrong.

We're teaching our kids that their results are everything. That hard work is needed to succeed, no matter the cost to their health. They're getting the message that their results determine their worth.

Luckily, there is hope.

There are many teachers and health professionals doing what they can to put things right. They're prepared to put students' happiness first.

You'll find these dedicated professionals giving our children the space to fail and letting them know it's safe to do so. They're helping pupils find their strengths and the confidence to keep on trying. Their aim is to help students deal with their stress, be happier and have more confidence in their own ability. To inspire and raise aspirations without making students ill with the pressure. They're doing this despite the pressures, stress and red tape the education system is creating.

When I work with teenagers I focus on topics such as beliefs, success and failure, developing a positive mindset and dealing with stress. I help them find out what makes them calm. I tell them over and over again that their results do not determine their worth.
 
I teach children and teenagers how to meditate and do yoga - two key techniques to help them stay calm, focused and positive. These are the techniques that I've used to get me through personal bereavement and my own health scares.
 
I believe that mindset and self belief are key to achieving success.

However, it's not easy to break self-defeating thoughts and habits. I still have wobbles from time-to-time! We've all had too many negative things said to us over the years. Too many judgements from other people and from ourselves.

When I teach people that they're in control of their thoughts and that it's a major factor in their happiness and success, it can be too much to take in. Yet the children and teenagers I've worked with have taken on my teachings and made huge leaps forward with their self belief and confidence.

I'd like to think that I've given these students tools which will serve them for life.

It's up to them now to put them into practise so they can break free from the current restraints the education system's put on them.

Follow Jaelithe on Facebook or check out her website for tips to help children and teenagers have confidence.
If you've got a teenager who can do with a boost in confidence and self esteem you can get 'The Happy Teenager: Fun Book' full of key life-coaching exercises that help teenagers have the self belief they deserve.​

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