THERE IS NO APP FOR RELATIONSHIPS. THERE IS NO APP FOR LIFE AND JOB SATISFACTION. There is no getting away from it. Life is hard sometimes and we need resilience in ourselves to get out of our dark holes and keep going. Yes, there are truly blissed moments of joy. But there are dark days too. It is a journey of a human being. We try to protect our children from the darkness, but guess what? They will discover it. In a worst case scenario, all on their own, when they don’t even know where to turn for help.
If they are lucky, someone will be there when these moments happen. This is when we get the phone calls from parents who would do anything to get their children back from the edge. Why leave it so late?
Our children grow up in a digital 'edited', seemingly perfect’ world of TV and social media. They form a distorted view of themselves and others as they watch people in ads happy and gorgeous, having anything they want instantly.
We can order anything on Amazon Prime and it will be here tomorrow, right??!!?
Parents tell them that they are fantastic even if they do nothing to deserve it.
They get better grades and medals, just so the teacher could get some peace from the complaining parent. Children and young people are not stupid. They know if they deserve something when they work hard for it.
They also know if they just get things because we give in when they have a tantrum. They sign up for things, then when it comes to working hard, they give up. They find everything boring. They cannot keep focused. There is no understanding of long term, of ‘working towards something’. Working hard to for example, to become fit. It’s easier to just eat and throw up. That will get you slim too.
Take a shortcut. To happiness. That leads to much more pain. But you can numb it out later.
A lot of them don’t learn hard work and patience. They want things NOW. Just because they want them and because this is what they are being conditioned to expect. And we give in. But having the most expensive toy, clothes, holidays still don’t make anybody happy for long.
Then they go out into the real world and they realise how much they need to work for money and it hardly buys them the things they need, let alone what they aspire to. They learn that they are not the best. They learn that it takes time to get a promotion and mum can’t sort it out for them. They learn that a job-title doesn’t bring happiness either. They learn that mum and dad don’t just grow money on a tree outside the house. They work hard for it. They learn that their gorgeous looking slim friend is in hospital because of anorexia and has been taking antidepressants for years whilst spending time trying to edit the perfect picture of themselves to post on Facebook. So reality hits. And it hits hard.
So what do they do? Do they have resilience? Do they believe in themselves? Do they keep going?? Or do they just hide away with their phones playing some stupid game to get their attention away from the pain they feel. Or do they drink some alcohol or take some drugs to get away from it all?
They don’t talk to adults. But they don’t even talk to their friends. They are too embarrassed to admit that there is a problem as they friends seem to look so perfect. The truth is they are hiding too.
We see them in crisis situations when in an attempt to look so gorgeous and get more Facebook likes, they binge-eat then throw up every day. They self harm to ease the pain. They think this is it. No way out. Maybe take a few pills and get away from the crunching pain is the solution.
They see posts of “happy and stunning” weekend pictures of other’s ideal moments who of course hide the pain of other dark days and difficulties of simply being a human. Those moments don’t get posted. Those are not cool. Those won’t get likes. People don’t know what to do with other’s pain. But they don’t even know what to do with their own pain.
Nobody is a superhuman.
As their day starts, and they open their eyes, they pick up their phone and compare themselves to some “editied” images of an idealised life. So they start by feeling worse about themselves already and they haven't even left the house. They just want to be accepted the way they are. They want to make a positive impact. They just don't know HOW to do it.
We work with a lot with young people who say that they cannot trust their friends to be there for them either. Admitting that we all have ups and downs to another person seems too scary for them. It's ruining their image of 'who they should be'.
So what can we do?
Helping our children being comfortable with themselves and helping them find their emotional balance is a large component of reaching their optimal mental, emotional and physical health. This is the biggest gift we can help them achieve.
Young people need to make decisions to build their lives ahead of them, so it’s best they do this with a clear, happy and emotionally balanced mind. Emotional balance is the ability of the mind and body to maintain equilibrium and flexibility in the face of challenge and change. Emotional balance promotes physical health, and is a prerequisite for personal wellbeing and growth. Our happiness depends on how we perceive and react to life’s events. And I want to wake you up to the fact that even though we have more, we can give more to our children, their happiness we cannot guarantee.
Find out more about how to help your children more at our next event on 7th November at 18.45 in Hambleden (between Marlow and Henley).
Only a limited number of seats can be reserved.
More details are here: