Social Media: Making it Work for You

Around seventy percent of teenagers own a smart phone, and around half of these have a social media presence.  Ideas are changing about the impact of social media on mental health:  it may be a safer, easier world in which to interact for shy youngsters, but for others it increases feelings of anxiety and depression. …

Screen Time or Scream Time?

It seems our young people are ever more fascinated with virtual worlds and all the excitement they offer, and less engaged with the real world in which they live.  The digital universe can be a wonderful source of information, entertainment and inspiration.  It can be an easy and convenient way to stay in touch with…

Preparing for High School

The move from primary to high school is full of excitement and new experiences for most, but it can also be challenging and worrying for some students.  Helping your child prepare for high school and making them feel supported will reduce the risk of disengagement from school in the future.  Here are ten quick tips…

Physical Activity for “Non Sporty” Kids

We all know how important it is to be physically active.  We know exercise improves cardiovascular fitness, builds muscle and bone strength, and helps us live longer.  The links between exercise and good mental health are well established.  The social attributes of “giving it your best”, “being a team player”, and “good sportsmanship” are lauded…

Instilling Optimism in our Teens

Optimism has been found to be one of our most positive tools for reducing the dangers of depression.   A recent blog written by Dr Justin Coulson outlined 7 strategies to help maintain optimism in our teens….   Empathise – Adolescents need to know that someone is there for them who is at least trying…

Family Festivity Survival Guide

The festive season is often highlighted as a time for joy, laughter, and family togetherness. However, at times it can feel more like a scene from National Lampoons’ Christmas Vacation.   Looking back at the year that’s been, the build up to the next year and trying to balance general busy-ness of the December –…

Encouraging optimistic, positive thinking

Thinking clearly, effectively, and positively is essential for success in all areas of life, and it is important for parents and carers to help young people develop positive thinking patterns.  Positive thinking is a way of finding the good in both specific situations and life in general.  Positive thinking doesn’t mean you bury your head…

Counting Sleep

Sleep.  Everybody needs it.  New mums crave it.  Toddlers fight it.  Teenagers randomise it.  Worried parents stress about it.  Dolphins (as voluntary breathers) only allow half their brain to do it at any given time.   In terms of health and well-being, sleep is just as important as nutrition and exercise and understanding sleep facts…

Art as therapy

Have you seen the adult colouring books and wondered why they have suddenly “taken off” and become so popular?  Well, the answer lies in more widespread awareness of the need to reduce stress in our everyday lives and the books create a simple means for reducing that stress through art.   Stress can have harmful…