Depression is the most common new issue affecting young people.

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I was interviewed on LBC Radio discussing the latest survey by the charity Relate revealing that mental health issues are bringing increasingly more young people into the counselling room.

64% of those counsellors surveyed said mental health/depression was the most common new issue affecting young people.

Relate, one of the largest provider of counselling for young people, also found in a separate survey that nearly three quarters (74%) of young people aged 13 to 18 said they had felt stressed at least sometimes over the last month, with nearly a third saying they felt stressed often or all the time (31%)

Sharon Chapman, Relate Young People’s Counsellor said:

“We know that young people under stress may express their feelings of anger in destructive ways, but unless we tackle the causes rather than focusing on the behaviour we are creating a cycle that may be hard to break.

“Children look to their parents and families to learn how to express feelings safely; so make time to talk with them, find out what bothers them, upsets them. Try to listen without judging or telling them what to do.

“Work out together how to tackle difficult or painful feelings and stressful situations. Boost their self worth and notice when they do well!”

Whilst I’m aware that this is a complex issue I also believe that one simple and easy way to stay engaged in your child’s life and to boost their self esteem is to eat together.

I am a real advocate of families sitting down and eating together as it creates a bond, a connection and makes life enjoyable and fun. Kids can chat about their day, their worries or just spend time with you, and you can share your life with them in an easy and natural way simply through sitting down to a meal together regularly.

It builds memories that last a lifetime.

It’s also a place to iron out differences, talk about worries and be involved in your child’s life.

Also teenagers who eat with their parents are up to 35% less likely to have eating disorders – (read more here )

Eating together also offers you the opportunity to really talk to your kids as life is often hectic, frenetic and busy and by simply eating together it will give you an easy way to stay involved, connected and interested in their lives!

It will build bridges not walls between you and will also help alleviate feelings of low self esteem, isolation, and anger as you will be building the “WE” mentality so necessary for happy family relationships essential in today’s world of divorce, disaffection and despair.

I’m always saying that children spell love T-I –M-E and one simple way to spend time together is to eat together regularly.

I wrote a series of blogs as conversation starters, that I am turning into Time To Talk ~ Made Easy cards  with lots of fun questions  to help you really talk and LISTEN to your kids – all designed to stop you just nagging about eating their broccoli or talking with their mouth full !

Here is the blog series

Questions To Start Conversations

I believe children, teenagers and society as a whole would really benefit from Taking Time to Talk Together over a meal so why not try it for a week and let me know the difference it makes to your family.

Here is another blog of mine called Talk With Them, Not At Them

 Here is the video link to the Relate Talk To Us Campaign to highlight the fact that young people need us to listen to them

Advice for young people:

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