Lack of confidence is at an all-time high with pressures on children and teens increasing daily. The time is now to do something about it using proactive solutions not reactive expressions.
None of us needs reminding that life is tough today and the demands on our time, attentions and resources are all stretched like an elastic band on an energy drink binge. It’s even more difficult for our kids and teens as they struggle to manage the demands of life in the 21st century. Social Media, technology, gadgets, gizmos, peer pressure, influence of the media and expectations all play their part.
Children’s levels of confidence and emotional resilience have a direct impact on school and home life. Friendships, academic studies, emotions and health are all affected.
Numerous parents reveal one of their biggest challenges is not knowing what to do for the best when their child or teenager struggles with lack of confidence or how to help them through psychological challenges such as disappointment, worry, stress, managing emotions, homework and friendship issues. In difficult emotional and stressful times parents are not always sure what help they can offer. Seeing your child withdrawn, not able to join in with activities and the associated ‘tears and tantrums’ around the school day impacts the whole family.
It’s quite a natural and acceptable process for parents to seek additional support for their child with maths, English and even sports. So why not additional help with confidence and the essential life skills young people need to manage the challenges and complexities of growing up today?
And if you’re experiencing this with your child or teen then you’re not alone… millions of parents are trying to cope with kids who are struggling with low self-esteem, confidence and the inability to manage everyday pressures.
When we were younger life was like flying a kite on a breezy afternoon, nowadays it’s like jumping into a jet fighter during a hurricane. That’s what children feel like and it’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
Having helped directly or indirectly over 30,000 kids and teens with confidence and emotional issues through CHAMPS Academy and from the evaluations and analytics I’ve conducted over a three-year period I was astonished by the results:
- 1st week of May sees a 59% increase in worried parents of teens going through exams.
- 2nd week of September enquiries rise 37% from parents of Year 7 children.
- Final week of term before Christmas holidays 45% enquiries from aged 8-9 year olds struggling to cope with amount of homework, exhaustion and school pressures.
The sad thing is, this is seasonal average of school life today; all quite understandable challenges and normal for the time of year.
But here’s the worrying thing: the most dramatic
increase was an 89% jump of enquiries for children aged 10-14 unable to ask questions,
put hands up in class and in certain cases becoming momentarily mute when asked
a question by a teacher (a stressed brain contracts, with many experiencing the
‘brain fog effect’ or blank mind). Their biggest fear was being judged by
The evidence is clear that every year the rise of young people struggling with confidence, stress, and peer pressure (including Social Media) needs proactive solutions not reactive expressions.
Essential skills that work!
What they need today are simple tools and skills they can use in the ‘real’ world. As breathing has been proven to lower heartrate, reduce stress and manage emotions, try this simple belly breathing exercise when safe to do so.
- Connect hands onto the belly, breathe in through the nose and make the breath push the belly out slightly (like a balloon). Breathe out slowly through the mouth to allow the belly to return to its normal resting place. Try 2-3 of these breaths for a calming effect that helps pupils relax and feel more in control.
Learning life skills shouldn't take a lifetime!
Helping young people become confident and emotionally resilient should be quick to learn, easy to remember and most importantly practical to use when the situation requires it.
- An 11-year old boy experienced a few issues at school, being teased and tricked about homework which produced a panic pattern, developing in him certain negative-reactive behaviours such as obsessively doing homework for around 10 hours on a Sunday. This controlled his life and adversely limited what the family could do at the weekends. After a few coaching sessions, the negative habits were transformed to positive outcomes which reduced his homework time by 5 hours.
Life is always about choices, questions and actions and seeing your child or teen struggling is not a nice thing to see. There are solutions to problems and ways to get them unstuck.
See CHAMPS Academy for more information about their work.
Do you have any experience of tackling the stress and increasing the confidence of children? Comment below, like and share via social media. Keep up to date with our latest news and blogs on Twitter @Parentkind.
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