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  • Writer's pictureJo Watkins

The why and the HOW.

1:3 of all adolescents 13-18 years old will experience some kind of anxiety disorder according to research from the National Institute of Health. Low self esteem effects 61% of 10-17 year old girls in the UK and stress has increased according to a recent survey.

Why? No one really knows but there are several lines of thought. I am a GP (not claiming to be an expert) but for the record, these are mine.

1. The Internet

Access to the internet is a double edged sword. Over this pandemic we have all seen the huge benefits and value it can have. The ability to connect, spend meaningful time with and learn from others is huge but, left to their own devices (couldn’t resist) teens are immersing themselves in the more unhelpful side of the cyber world. Online bullying, endless social media feeds and FOMO from not being involved in groups that are set up, the pursuit of a certain look that they see on their news feed, heavily made up and enhanced young women. These issues can affect their ability to connect in real life, to be able to separate fake from reality and, as a result, for many, their mental health is suffering.

Kids and adolescents are complaining of stress when they should be enjoying their childhood. Girls in particular are not being encouraged by society that they are good enough and to strive to be the best version of themselves.

2. The Education System

In parallel with this, our schools are over stretched and the education system under limitations. Teachers are unable to teach things they want to teach outside of the restrictions of the curriculum. Exams are the focus of the whole system and children are being put into boxes and not shown the other options. They are not being taught the life skills needed to navigate their own path. Young adults often feel that they need to fit in to a certain stereotype if they are not academic or just tick the boxes to pass exams and are constantly asked the dreaded question ‘What are you going to do with your life?’

3. The Changing World

85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet. Times are changing. There has never been a better time to teach life skills, encourage resilience, creativity and adapting to change.

The world is a very wonderful but also a very, big scary place and the stress around publicly discussed things like climate change, plastic pollution and now a global pandemic is palpable to us all and often difficult for young people to talk about and process let alone understand. None of us quite know how to deal with this and more and more young people are seeking help from health professionals and counsellors to deal with this when they hit breaking point.

What about trying to turn this all on its head and trying to help, educate, inspire, support, open doors and encourage opportunities in young people before it becomes a ‘problem’.

Prevention is better than cure.

As you may know, I am a GP and Mum of 4 including a 13 year old girl, we have travelled extensively, using online education to learn is normal for us. I see the impact of this busy, fast moving, constantly connected world on all of our mental health (including mine when I am trying to meet deadlines and grow an online business!) but also see the huge potential of it when used properly.

My great friend and business partner with The HOW People, Polly has 2 young kids and left school with 3 GCSE’s but this never stopped her. She got to where she is in life through real life human connections, building on relationships and shear determination. She has worked for over a decade as a Key Account Manager for a large sports brand.

We know what is possible. We are determined to try and help navigate this path using our online platform encouraging girls to embrace and share new adventures, enjoy creative opportunities and learn life skills to take with them into adulthood. We want to connect girls to the right mentors and coaches to help them carve their own path and introduce them to role models in all sorts of different walks of life... ALL of this while having fun and making new friends all over the world!

We would love you to join us so we can help your teen become the best version of themselves. This is a digital platform offering live weekly content with co founders and experts which will also be uploaded to the membership site along with resources, a Teen Corner and Parents Portal to be used in your own time. See Membership for more details

The HOW Membership is open for our Founding Members group until 31st May Sunday at midnight. Fixed pricing for founding members for the length of your membership. Cancel anytime and 30 day guarantee.

A webinar and Q&A for more information is available on Thursday 28th 7pm. To register for this CLICK HERE

Both these links are on the website. CLICK HERE

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