Let's Start With The Scary Statistics Regarding Teens & Mental Health Problems.
Then we will quickly move on to solutions.
40% of young people report to be lonely- Heinrich & Gullone.
According to World Health Organisation WHO
Mental health conditions account for 16% of the global burden of disease and injury in people aged 10-19 years.
50% mental health conditions start by age 14.However, most cases are undetected and untreated.
Globally, depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.
3rd leading cause of death in 15-19-year-olds is Suicide.
According to NHS statistics, 12.8% of young people have clinical criteria for a mental health disorder.
10% of teens 12-17 experience major depression.
Generally, the consequences of not addressing teenage mental health conditions spans to adulthood, impairs physical and mental health and limits opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults.
Thus, the possibility of reaching full potential is tampered with.
I could go on presenting statistics after statistics, but my intention is not to spread scary statistics but to promote accessible solutions and protective factors that can lessen the worsening of these statistics.
I love to talk about protective factors and solutions that can mitigate and help lessen or stop mental health problems.
One such and strong protective factor is The Present Of Being Present (Parental Presence)
Following below we cover;
What is the greatest present we can present to our teens.
How to effectively present this present.
When to present this present.
1# The greatest present you can present to your teen is the present of being present.
Your presence is a present that can make all the difference to a teenager's health and wellness and overall development. It is when a parent is present that they can share their love and connection with the teenager and this can act as a buffer to minimise the effects of life knocks that happen to the teens and to all of us which can lead to deterioration of mental wellness.
I call it a present because it is not to be earned but be given freely. It is unconditional and and not dependent on whether they do their chores or not or whether they are living up to our expectations or not.
Research continues to show us that parental presence and in fact positive parental presence is correlated to better overall wellbeing of teens.
2# How do you present the present of being present to your teen?
1. Be available, in essence make time to be there with them.
2. Let them know that you are available and care, truly care. This doesn’t mean hovering around them (this is certainly not what they want.)
3. Let them know you accept them just as they are.
4. Imbue them with a faith and belief that you feel and hear them in ways that they need you to. Including, if they need you to be away let them know you hear them and respect this wish.
5. If they need you be involved be available. Be present in ways they recognise you as respectful of them.
6. When you can’t give them a physical hug for whatever reason, send them a virtual hug and or a good morning text.
7. Send them invites and information and encourage them to send you these too. Play with them; watch something they love together with them. Engage in activities they love.
8. Support their friendships and relationships outside your home.
3# When is the best time to present this present of being present?
NOW! The time to get it right is now!
Do today that which you know is going to take you in the direction of your dream. If your dream for your family is to have healthy teenagers and to maintain a healthy relationship with your teenagers, start that connection today if it had lapsed. choose any of the suggested ways to re-start your connection. In teenagers years because teenagers tend to pull away from parents, it is common for connections to break but you can reconnect today and be the buffer. Offer the protective factor of your presence as this can alleviate the deterioration or entry into mental health problems.
The present of being present is the foundation of all other protective factors. For if you are not present, you are obviously not present to contribute and offer anything else that can help them maintain a positive and healthy wellbeing.
It is when you've establish that confidence and faith from being present that you can then begin to motivate your teenager. Have you seen our newest program the 3 Psychological Cs of motivating teenagers to be highly effective? If not Check here.
In this program you learn the 3 Cs Connect, Communicate and Celebrate. You'll love it look it up for more details. Click here
Creator of The Strong Bond Blueprint a mentoring program to help YOU Build Strong Bonds with your teen based on honesty and trust, so your teen actually wants to listen to you.
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Loneliness: Heinrich, L. M., & Gullone, E. (2006). The clinical significance of loneliness: A literature review. Clinical Psychology Review, 26(6), 695- 718.
Yap, Pilkington and Ryan. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165032713008057?via%3Dihub
Tuttle, A. R., Knudson-Martin, C., & Kim, L. (2012). Parenting as relationship: A framework for assessment and practice. Family Process, 51(1), 73–89.