Welly Wellbeing

Transition and Change

Transition to High School

Helping Your Child Cope with Back to School

BBC Bitesize article Year 8 students when they started in Year 7

 

Thursday 5th December 2019

Dear All

Well we are nearing the end of this term and Christmas is around the corner.  There has been so much going on in school this term.  The Year 7’s are settling in and the Year 11’s and 13’s are currently sitting mocks and assessments so there has been lots of stress and anxiety floating around school.

This month’s blog is all about that dreaded topic (no not politics) SOCIAL MEDIA! 

Experts worry that the social media and text messages that have become so integral to teenage life are promoting anxiety and lowering self-esteem.

A survey conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health asked 14-24 year olds in the UK how social media platforms impacted their health and wellbeing. The survey results found that Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all led to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, poor body image and loneliness.

Teens are experts at keeping themselves occupied in the hours after school until the early hours. Modern teens are learning to do most of their communication while looking at a screen, not another person.

Learning how to make friends is a major part of growing up, and friendship requires hard work, give and take. This is true for making a new friend, but it’s also true for maintaining friendships. When there are problems that need to be faced—big ones or small ones—it takes courage to be honest about your feelings and then hear what the other person has to say. Learning to communicate with each other is part of what makes friendship fun and exciting, and also scary.  Part of healthy self-esteem is knowing how to say what you think and feel even when you don’t agree with other people or it feels emotionally scary.

But friendships are communicated a lot of time now through texts and chats.   It’s easier to keep your guard up when you’re texting, so less is at stake. You aren’t hearing or seeing the effect that your words are having on the other person. Because the conversation isn’t happening in real time, each party can take more time to consider a response. No wonder young people say calling someone on the phone is “too intense”—it requires more direct communication, and if you aren’t used to that it may well feel scary.

If young people aren’t getting enough practice relating to people and getting their needs met in person and in real time, many of them will grow up to be adults who are anxious about talking to others. This is not ideal when it comes to navigating romantic relationships and employment.

“Young people text all sorts of things that you would never in a million years contemplate saying to anyone’s face,” says Dr Donna Wick, a clinical and developmental psychologist. She notes that this seems to be especially true of girls, who typically don’t like to disagree with each other in “real life”.

“You hope to teach them that they can disagree without jeopardizing the relationship, but what social media is teaching them to do is disagree in ways that are more extreme and do jeopardize the relationship. It’s exactly what you don’t want to have happen,” she says.

Young people naturally compare themselves to other people, to develop their identities, so it makes them more vulnerable to the downside of social media.

Peer acceptance is a big thing for adolescents, and many of them care about their image as much as Boris and Jeremy, and to them it can feel as serious. Add to that the fact that young people today are getting actual polling analysis on how many people “like” them or their appearance via things like “likes.” Teenage girls take countless selfies, agonizing over which ones to post online. Boys compete for attention by trying to out-gross one other, pushing the envelope as much as they can in the already disinhibited atmosphere online. Young people gang up on each other.

When young people scroll through their feeds and see how great everyone seems, it only adds to the pressure. “Adolescence and the early twenties in particular are the years in which you are acutely aware of the contrasts between who you appear to be and who you think you are,” says Dr Wick, “It’s exhausting”.

Young people update their status, share what they’re watching, listening to, and reading, and have apps that let their friends know their specific location on a map at all times. Even if a person isn’t trying to keep his friends updated, he’s still never out of reach of a text message. The result is that young people feel hyper-connected with each other. The conversation never needs to stop, and it feels like there’s always something new happening.

It’s also surprisingly easy to feel lonely in the middle of all that hyper-connection. For one thing, young people now know when they’re being ignored. We all have phones and we all respond to things pretty quickly, so when you’re waiting for a response that doesn’t come, the silence can be deafening. The silent treatment might be deliberate or just the unfortunate side effect of an online adolescent relationship that starts out intensely but then fades away.

In the old days when a boy was going to break up with you, he had to have a conversation with you, or at least he had to call. These days he might just disappear from your mobile, and you never get to have the ‘What did I do?’ conversation. Young people are often left imagining the worst about themselves.

Being in a constant state of waiting can still provoke anxiety. We can feel ourselves being put on the back burner, we put others back there, and our very human need to communicate is effectively delegated there, too.

The best thing parents can do to minimise the risks associated with technology is to set a good example of what healthy computer usage looks like. Most of us check our phones or our email too much, out of either real interest or habit. Young people should be used to seeing our faces, not our heads bent over a screen. Try to make certain times in the house when EVERYONE is free of their phones, tablets, any technology.

Try to have conversations without rushing to check your emails or social media.  Give them your full attention when you have time together in the morning or after work and set the car as a no phone zone as this is the best place to hold conversations.

Helping children build healthy self-esteem is to get them involved in something that they’re interested in. It could be sports or music or taking apart computers or volunteering—anything that sparks an interest and gives them confidence. When young people learn to feel good about what they can do instead of how they look and what they own, they’re happier and better prepared for success in real life. That most of these activities also involve spending time interacting with peers face-to-face is just the icing on the cake.

It is important to make sure that we are ALL feeling as good as we can, both physically and mentally, and fortunately our culture now understands the importance of not only having a healthy body – but also a healthy mind!

Thanks

Debbie – School Counsellor

 

Monday 11th November 2019

Thank you to all parents who attended the Dick Moore presentation on Monday evening. Please click on the link below to see his Power Point presentation. For those parents who were unable to attend, I highly recommend that you watch any of Dick Moor’s presentations on YouTube.
Dick Moore Presentation

Mrs Copeland

 

Friday 18th October 2019

Dear All

Well it’s been a busy few weeks since the start of the new school year and I hope all your children are settling in.  I thought that this month’s Blog and information should focus on ANXIETY.  That word in itself can cause anxiety but I think it is a topic that is so important, not just for students, but also for anybody. 

Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions such as anxiety (nopanic.org.uk).

I have put some really useful and informative information below and on the website under Welly Wellbeing, for you to look at and hope you find it helpful.

Anxiety – a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.

How many of you have heard this in the morning…. “I feel sick”, “I can’t breathe”, “My tummy hurts”, “I feel dizzy”, “I can’t eat”, “I can’t get out of bed”? I know I personally have experienced all these physical symptoms and sometimes it’s hard to believe that they are due to your mind but they are still REAL physical feelings. It is also hard to recognise WHY we feel like this or we don’t want to ADMIT why we really feel like this. Nervous about an exam, a certain teacher, not doing homework, having to get changed for PE, speaking out loud in class… the list is endless.

Please take a minute and have a look at the information below. There will be an email sent out regarding a workshop for parents before Christmas around Anxiety so keep a look out for further details.

It is important to make sure that we are ALL feeling as good as we can, both physically and mentally, and fortunately our culture now understands the importance of not only having a healthy body – but also a healthy mind!

Thanks

Debbie Magid – School Counsellor

Anxiety Apps and Websites

Coping Ground Technique 54321

Different Types of Anxiety

Ten Ways for Parents to Help

Young People With Anxiety

https://www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind/

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/index.html

 

Friday 9th September 2019

Dear All

Welcome to the very first Welly Wellness Blog! The aim of the blog is to send you monthly information that can help you and your children gain knowledge and hopefully skills, hints and info that can help with any issues regarding general well-being and mental health. As you are probably all aware mental health is now at the forefront of the news when it comes to young people and the world is changing at a very fast pace.

It is important to make sure that we are ALL feeling as good as we can, both physically and mentally, and fortunately society has now come to understand the importance of not only having a healthy body but also a healthy mind!

With all that being said, this month’s information focuses on Transition and Change which will hopefully be very useful for Year 7 children and their parents, but may also be very useful for many more so please take the time to glance it over and also keep an eye out on the school website under the parent page for Welly Wellbeing.

Thank you all and here’s to a great start to the school year.

Debbie Magid – School Counsellor