Having a conversation with a 16 year old last night about the pressures on children today made me understand why mental health issues are on the rise for children.

Feeling anxious, depressed or having panic attacks can be the result of not feeling emotionally safe. In order to feel emotionally safe children need to have developed the skills necessary to deal with the pressures of their time.

The more conversations I have with concerned and distraught parents with children living with mental health issues, the more I see how difficult it is growing up today. I’m sure every generation says the same but it’s tough to hear the stories of children who don’t feel like they fit in with the ‘standards of perfection’ this generation live by. It was hard enough to see the magazine covers and programmes and models of the 80′, 90’s and so on but everyone can now present as perfect on a world wide platform reinforcing the message that perfection is the only acceptable image.

We live in a ‘perfect’ society,  or so it seems. When we focus on improvement not perfection, we make replace judgement, exclusion and shame with support, goal setting, aspirations, ambition . I believe imperfection is perfection, we all have something to offer the world. Let’s teach our children that.

When you have a child with anxiety, as with a lot of child development, you’re responsible for providing opportunities for them to learn. To learn to understand their anxiety, their triggers, the anxiety induced limitations, the push past point and the most effective management strategies. But as the parent, it can feel like trying to fix a car with a remote computer. Although you can see some signs, you don’t know what it feels like or looks like in that all so upsetting anxiety attack. So teaching your child to understand their own anxiety is a must. You can support him far more effectively than you can try to do it for them.

If your child is living with an anxiety disorder, depression disorder or panic disorder it is so negatively impactful on their education, relationships / friendships and even the family as a whole. Coaching can help with reducing the symptoms, understanding why and becoming more aware of their emotional state. I help children learn about how their anxiety affects them as self knowledge is a super power.