Kids Are Struggling – We Must Reach Them Early

    When Michael was 10 years old, he had the opportunity that every young rugby player dreams of!
    It was the last 2 minutes of the game and he had an easy kick to put his team in the lead. He had a chance to win the game for his team!
    He took a few steps back, looked at the bars and kicked the ball – but it went wide. There was a loud moan from the crowd. The match was over and Michael’s team lost the match.
    Michael left the pitch mumbling to himself “I’m such a loser. I quit.” Michael was humiliated and he no longer wanted to play rugby.
    You have probably seen something like this happen before. It may not have been a rugby game––but some event in life where you, your child, or someone you cared about faced a big disappointment and just wilted before your eyes.
    When faced with challenges or disappointments, most kids don’t have the tools to handle them.
    ‘Emotional First Aid’, what is it? Kids know when they cut their finger, they but a plaster on it – when they burn their hands, they run it under a cold tap but do they know what to do when they feel disappointed, humiliated, ashamed, hurt, excluded, upset, lonely?

    As a result, they often feel down or give up on themselves—developing belief systems that can hold them back for the rest of their lives. This crushes self- esteem and it crushes self-confidence.
    Life events can “wound” children and most of the time their parents don’t even realise it. They might see a shift in their child’s confidence or self-esteem, but they don’t know what happened or what to do about it.
    And most of the time kids won’t tell because they are too embarrassed. They don’t want their parents, the people they love the most, to think less of them. Instead they cry themselves to sleep, often suffering in silence.
    And a lot of kids are struggling.
    Did you know that:
    ●  30% of tweens (children between the ages 10-12) experience headaches and difficulty sleeping as a result of stress.1
    ●  25% of children between ages 13 and 18 experience anxiety disorders.2
    ●  10% of children are actually diagnosed with depression before the age of 18.3

    The World Health Organisation reported that depression is “the predominant cause of illness and disability” for children and teens age 10 to 19-years-old, worldwide. The statistics are even more staggering when you consider the report found suicide to be the third leading cause of adolescent deaths (behind traffic accidents, and HIV/AIDS).4
    Something is clearly not working when one child in every ten (10%) is clinically depressed by the time they reach adulthood.
    And when suicide is the third leading cause of death, worldwide, for children between the ages of 10-19.
    Regardless of country, ethnic background, culture, or religion, millions of kids are struggling with how they feel about themselves day-to-day.
    We must reach kids at an earlier age to help them develop resilience, self-confidence, and self-leadership skills, so they can handle the ups and downs of growing up.
    And life coaches for kids can help! As a certified life coach for kids with Adventures in Wisdom Inc., I am working with many 8-12 year olds on a one to one basis teaching them the skills to deal with life’s ups and downs. These sessions are proving very successful. They are based on story format with each story holding an important life lesson. I hope to start small group sessions later this year.
    For any information on the above, please email me on eileenkeanehaly@gmail.com or message me on Facebook or call 0868112110.

    . 1 Psychology Today, “Is Your Child Stressed Out? Why You May Not Know.” 
2 National Institute of Mental Health: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1ANYANX_child.shtml
3 Time Magazine Article, “The Happiness or Pursuit”, July 2013 http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2146449,00.html 
4 “WHO calls for stronger focus on adolescent health,” May 2014

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