Life Coaching



    Teenagers are drinking the equivalent of almost a bath full of sugary drinks every year, a charity has warned.
    New figures from Cancer Research UK suggest those aged 11 to 18 each drink just over 234 cans of soft drink a year – or one bathtub full.
    Those aged between four and 10 are having almost half as much. And even children under the age of three are consuming high levels of sugary drinks – equivalent to almost one third of a bath, the report shows.

    In March, the Government announced it will introduce a tax on soft drinks with added sugar.

    Fruit juice is exempt from a planned sugar tax CREDIT: PA
    Drinks with 5g of sugar per 100ml will face a lower rate of tax , while those with more than 8g per 100ml will face a higher rate.
    The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates the levy could add 18p to 24p to the price of a litre of fizzy drink if the full cost is passed on to the consumer.
    Pure fruit juices will be exempt as they do not carry added sugar, while drinks with a high milk content will also be exempt due to their calcium content.
    Watch | Budget 2016: Sugar tax on soft drinks

    A 330ml can of cola can contain 35g of sugar.
    This exceeds the maximum sugar recommendations for a five-year-old (19g of total sugar per day) and for a child aged 11 and over (30g per day).
    The new Cancer Research UK data was based on data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey.
    It found that adults and young children currently consume twice the maximum recommended amount of added sugar. And 11 to 18-year-olds eat and drink three times the recommended limit, with sugary drinks being their main source of added sugar.
    Alison Cox, director of prevention at Cancer Research UK, said: “It’s shocking that teenagers are drinking the equivalent of a bathtub of sugary drinks a year.

    “We urgently need to stop this happening and the good news is that the Government’s sugar tax will play a crucial role in helping to curb this behaviour. The ripple effect of a small tax on sugary drinks is enormous, and it will give soft drinks companies a clear incentive to reduce the amount of sugar in drinks.
    “When coupled with the Government’s plan to reduce sugar in processed food, we could really see an improvement to our diets.
    “But the Government can do more to give the next generation a better chance, by closing the loophole on junk food advertising on TV before the 9pm watershed. The UK has an epidemic on its hands, and needs to act now.”
    Cancer Research UK estimates that a 20p-per-litre sugar tax could prevent 3.7 million cases of obesity over the next decade.
    It follows international research which shows British children are among the least active in the world – and fitness levels are plummeting.
    Experts said the results were alarming, showing that movement was being “stripped out” of modern  lifestyles, with children weaned on screen-time and starved of outdoor activity.
    Research comparing 38 counties across the globe placed England, Scotland and Wales among the worst for physical activity.
    Overall, England and Wales were both scored D minus, the third worst grade in the rankings, while Scotland was joint worst, with a grade of F.
    Earlier this month, Tesco announced that it has cut sugar levels in its own brand soft drinks, while Suntory, which makes Lucozade and Ribena, has also promised reductions.
    Watch | How much sugar is in the food and drink you consume?

    Levels of obesity in England have soared from 14.9 per cent in 1993 to 25.6 per cent in 2014.
    Child obesity levels have reached a record high, while two thirds of adults are either overweight or obese.
    Forecasts suggest that by 2050 nearly 60 per cent of men and 50 per cent of women will be obese.
    Soft drinks other than fruit juice are one of the largest sources of sugar for adults, and the largest single source of sugar for children aged 11 to 18 years.

    from Breaking News 22-11-16

    Share Blog facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail


    I recently ran a Self-Development workshop with a Transition Year group and was surprised at their reactions.
    This workshop was aimed at helping the students to understand the importance of a number of topics;

    The importance of liking yourself – Positive Self-Esteem.
    The meaning of Friendship.
    Getting to know your Strengths and learning to understand what they mean.
    Thinking about Values and how they effect your every day life.
    The importance of Believing in Yourself and Setting Goals.
    The importance of having Dreams/Ambitions.

    During the workshop we had a lot of discussion about friendships and the importance of face to face communication. This is an area of concern, as when we looked at it most of the students said there was never a time they would be with friends when someone was not on their phone – never a time when they would all be talking together. This is a problem as people are not giving enough face to fact time to real friends and far too much online time to virtual friends (who may not be real friends at all). This was an eye-opener for many as we have to remember some of our kids know no different – this is the world they have grown up in. They began to realise the importance of spending real time with real friends.

    When it came to strengths, many of the students said this was not something they really thought about, but after the exercise they realised what great strengths they had, many of which they did not realise they had beforehand. Knowing their own individual strengths is an essential ingredient for them to live a happy fulfilled life – both personally and in their careers. We need to understand our strengths to understand who we are and who we want to be. We need to understand our strengths to understand what area of work we should aim for, to be happy and successful in our jobs.

    Setting Goals is one of my personal favourites. There is a saying “Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes”, to me this is so important. I have worked with so many teenagers and young adults who have spent months and years reading self-help books and motivation books, and when I ask them “So what have you done”?, they look at me blankly. You have to take the first step to change if you want anything to change, reading about it, writing about it will not ‘change it’. You have to ‘do’ something. This section really resonated with the students as I put the ball back in their court – told them they have to stop blaming parents, teachers, the weather – if they want something in life they have to get out there at get it – make the necessary changes in their lives and go for it. Everything worthwhile takes effort – nothing comes easy.

    Values – this section surprised me most of all as it was the area most of them said they really learned something about themselves in.
    What are Values –
    Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.
    When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good – you’re satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with your personal values, that’s when things feel… wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness.
    This feeling of ‘wrong’ really made sense to them. The students wrote down the values they thought their age group ‘have’ and the values they thought their age group ‘should have’. What this did was it showed them that they all wanted the same things – yet many were living against their values to be part of their peer group or to be popular. We all need to take time out to allow ourselves to get to know ourselves better, and this is doubly true for our younger generation who have grown up with another voice in their heads – social media.

    I strongly believe our Educational Department and Department of Health has to look at this area and provide modules to help kids live in this every changing technological run world in a more positive and self aware way. We, their parents, teachers, mentors have to help them to get this support. We all grew up with 2 voices in our heads – our parents and our peers, kids today have a 3rd 24 hour voice in social media – they need support and advice to help them deal to with this voice in a positive and healthy way.

    Lack of face to face communication, low self-esteem, peer pressure, lack of understanding around friendships and relationships are a few of the growing concerns I see daily. We have to support kids and teenagers to understand the importance of realising the reality of social media v’s the real world. There are many positives to social media, but unfortunately there are many very damaging aspects also which I find very worrying.

    A few comments from the students after this workshop;
    “I feel like my age group can do things because of peer pressure. I think this workshop might open their eyes.”
    “I believe this workshop is needed because it helps people my age to realise that they can’t change something without putting effort in.”
    “this workshop shows us that social media is not that important and I need to start seeing my strengths and not be so harsh on myself.”
    “helped me to realise I have to stop putting myself down so much and be proud of myself.”
    “It really opened my eyes to things that I didn’t even notice were going on.”
    “taught me to be nicer to people and appreciate the important people in my life before its too late.”
    “it helped me to understand my values and to see how they effect my actions and my feelings towards other people.”
    “it showed me how important it is to be kind to myself instead of knocking myself.”
    ‘Im going to spend less time on my phone and more time with family and myself.”
    “it made me think about my personality and my values and helped me to understand who I want to be.”
    “spend more time with actual real friends and family and less time on my phone and virtual friends – and if we want something to happen just go out and make it happen.”
    “I am going to think more positively about myself and not always think about the bad things”
    “understand that not everything is about your phone and your appearance.”
    “how to look after myself the correct way – to take a break from social media””
    “it might encourage me to see myself differently and be grateful for all I have in my life”
    “the importance of valuing the people I am with in the moment and get off my phone when with people I value in my life”

    If you have any queries relating to any of the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch – Eileen

    Share Blog facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Mobile Phones in Teenagers Bedrooms during Sleeping Hours

    Teenagers – The Effects of Phones in Bedrooms during Sleeping Hours

    In 2012 it was estimated that 1/3 of teenagers slept with their phones under their pillow. I wonder what that percentage would be today? It is a growing concern that lack of sleep is one of the biggest issues with young people – especially exam year teens.
    I recently ran a workshop for exam year students and asked them the following question;

    How does lack of sleep effect you?

    As you can imagine there were many different answers but all with a negative effect on the teen.

    Cranky – moody – irritable – lack of motivation – lack of concentration – eating too much or too little – and many more.

    The next question I asked;

    How many of you have your phones with you in your bedroom at night?

    I am rarely shocked (as a mum of 4 myself) but when approximately 75% of students put up their hands – I was visibly shocked.

    We spent the next 45 mins talking about the pros and cons of same. I could visibly see, for some, this was a lightbulb moment. They had never even ‘thought’ about the impact of having their phone with them at night. How this one habit effected so much in their daily lives.

    We, as parents, have to remember, this is a new world for all of us – a world run by technology. Our kids and teens are not getting enough support and advice as to how to live in this every changing world in a safe and happy way.
    If, even a few of the students I spoke to that day realised the importance of NOT having their phones in the bedroom during sleeping hours, I would be very happy.
    This one change in their daily lives can have a huge positive impact. I am well aware of the arguments this may cause in family life, but, unfortunately for us parents – this is our job!

    There is enough stress around exams in this Country, our kids do not need the added effects of exhaustion, moodiness, lack of motivation, irritability etc.

    Please feel free to get in touch should you have any queries regarding any of the above.

    Share Blog facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail



    JumpStartYourConfidence launches:


    (Primary and Secondary Schools)

    There is an inordinate amount of pressure on young people in school and socially today – from exam pressures to self-image concerns to trying to deal with the daily pressures of growing up – when facing the ongoing pressure of Social Media.

    Young people need a chance to connect with themselves and learn about who they are.  They need to be able to help themselves to grow in a positive way, physically and mentally.  To allow themselves to become ‘the best they can be’.


    These workshops aim to give students the tools to achieve this in a positive and interactive environment.

    Please give me a call on 0868112110 or email at should you have any queries on these workshops.

    Please click on link below for more details.


    Student Personal Development

    Share Blog facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Why would my teenager need a mentor?

    Does your teenager – 

    Lack confidence?

    Lack positivity?

    Lack interest in life?

    Feel overwhelmed with pressures of exams?

    Feel confused re friendship issues?

    Have a low self-esteem?

    Lack motivation?

    Have trouble controlling emotions?

    Have trouble dealing with Peer Pressure?

    If you answered YES to any of the above, you may want to find out more about Teenage Mentoring.  Do give me a call or send me an email to get more details.

    “Teenage mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen and a push in the right direction.”


    Share Blog facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail


    I had an alarming conversation with a group of 17-19 year olds during an Easter workshop. The topic of relationships came up – I found it very upsetting to learn of the behaviour of girls and boys as young as 12 years of age. This behaviour is accepted among many as ‘normal’ – there lies my concern. I am obviously not talking about all kids but I am talking about many. I worry that the lack of self-respect (both online and face to face) is a growing concern.
    A few issues that really worried me;
    1. Girls putting up pictures of themselves in underwear online – as young as 12 years of age.
    2. Boys expecting girls to want to ‘please’ them regardless of the fact that they are not in a relationship.
    3. Boys discussing girls performance online.
    4. Boys choosing who they want to kiss in discos/parties – girls standing around waiting to be picked out only for the boy to move onto the next girl.
    I am afraid we have gone back 100 years here – please speak to your kids about self-respect, about what relationships should be like, about behaving in a way they are happy and comfortable with, not just to be in with the crowd. Listen to your kids if they do not want to go to discos/parties- maybe they are trying to protect themselves.
    I am going to talk to a few schools that I work with to suggest the possibility of 5th years talking to 2nd years to give them a bit of advice. To help them to make the right decisions for themselves. The group I spoke to said this would have been a great support for them at their age. They agreed that things are definitely getting worse. Social Media and American tv obviously have a huge impact on this. This is the world our kids are growing up in – they need education in this area, they need support, they need to understand the meaning of self-respect. I think it is a very hard time to be a teenager, we need to help them to deal with this ever changing world.
    If you have any queries relating to this please do not hesitate to contact me.’s photo.

    Share Blog facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Why Parents Need to Show Their True Feelings

    What is one of the most important qualities of a healthy relationship? Authenticity – being who we are, the good, the bad and the ugly. Being authentic creates openness, connection and trust.

    Where does that leave us as parents – how much of our emotional selves should we put away and how much should we share with our kids.

    There is not a person on the planet who does not get sad, cranky, scared, or lonely, from time to time. Sometimes these feelings can stay around for a while. When our kids see or sense that there is something ‘not quite right’, they will watch us even closer than normal. If we do not explain why we are feeling a certain way, they will worry and come up with their own answers.

    Mom and daughter hands, outdoors

    We have a tendency to put on a brave face, to try to hide our upsetting emotions but is this the right thing to do?

    In my experience, both personally as a parent, and in working with other kids, this can be very confusing and upsetting for kids. We need to be as honest as possible and explain why we are upset, angry, lonely or sad as this will help our kids to understand it is ‘ok’ to feel like this. I do not mean to share our innermost feelings but possibly to explain, in an age appropriate way, why we are upset, sad etc. Difficult emotions can become threatening when they come with a bag load of unknowns. All feelings are part of living a healthy, happy, fulfilled life, once we know how to handle them, and this is what we need to pass on to our kids.
    Coping skills for kids is such an important part of their development and they need us to equip them with the necessary tools to enable them to deal with whatever may come their way.

    When our kids see us being ok with our troubled feelings it gives them permission to do the same. They won’t have the skills to manage them all for a while, and that’s ok. What’s important is that they see that everyone feels bad sometimes, and that they have opportunities to learn how to deal with these emotions in a healthy manner.

    Nobody is perfect, we can only do our best, and our best is good enough.

    Share Blog facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail