Youth mental health is increasing on a trajectory we do not want. Parents across the globe are wondering why it is happening and how they can support their children and yet they are not prioritising time for parental support.
When schools, local councils and community services run programs for parents, attendance is low and all too often 6 weeks is considered too long to commit to a program. Why is that?
In most industries, there is an understanding that it is vital to get training for skilled jobs, managing staff and conflict resolution. What if parenting was similar – you need relationship skills in parenting, conflict resolution, time management to name but 3 key areas that companies focus on. Theories and approaches change and often businesses value the support that can come from getting personnel doing similar jobs together. Support from a similar cohort means you can share experiences and feel like you are not alone.
This experience in parenting is no different. You are the unpaid Chief Executive Office (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Managing Director (MD) of a company that is continuously changing. The employees stay the same, they are life members (your children) they have the potential to leave but essentially, they are shareholders so they will often stay engaged and involved. Your client base changes as the shareholders/ employees ‘needs’ change, and there may be multiple services and delivery methods and timelines required. You need a great deal of skill to navigate this and the Human Resources department (HR) works overtime in conflict resolution, pay negotiations, dealing with unions or perhaps denying access to all those options and working more as a dictatorship!
So, if companies work in this way, valuing the importance of continual professional development then, why don’t we value what we bring to our families? Why don’t parents go to school information nights when it is to do with wellbeing as opposed to the curriculum? Why don’t parents sign up to parenting courses and groups?
The job of a parent is the most amazing opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the future of our world. There is nothing shameful in getting support from others, we are a community and as such we should be ready and willing to live, work, parent and support each other as equal family members.
So rather than save so you can pay for the consequences of not engaging with each other and seeing the rise of poor mental health, consider investing in prevention strategies, in an empowerment model that offers considered skills to bring in to your day to day living.
Consider investing in your very own companies CPD program - continuous parental development!
Are you ready for a rollercoaster ride? That’s what it can feel like when raising teenagers! A mixture of mature and insightful conversation, independence and raging hormones. Everyone is back to having their L and P-Plates on.
I have found that the parenting skills needed in teenage years become more psychological than physical and much more about self-responsibility and mutual respect. For example where my children might not have called me to account for what I said versus what I do, my teenagers will definitely hold me to account if I do not ‘walk my talk’. Even if they don’t say it out loud…they have a radar for hypocrisy and it has been both very humbling and the greatest gift at different times.
You have all heard of FOMO - fear of missing out but what about FOSO - fear of standing out? I know far more people who are living the second whilst being distracted by the first! There will be a number of variations on the theme of FOSO but this blog focuses on Fear of Standing Out as a result of observing all the cyber-bullying we see. It is written from personal experiences. A version of this blog was originally published on ABC Open.