International Youth Day – 2017

This blog highlights what was going on a year ago for our Youth.

So has anything really changed?
Are those statistics on the rise?
Have we nailed it when it comes to our Youth?
Have our Youth become the most connected generation?
Have we changed anything if we are being honest?
Have we as adults taken more Responsibility towards our Youth?
Have we communicated more with the Youth in our lives?
Have we addressed some of the Youth issues in our community?
What has the past year told us about the state of our Youth?
What has been going on globally for all of our Youth?
Are we any closer about what on earth is going on for our Youth today?

The word ‘Youth’ is a very ancient word in English, going back to the ancient Germanic tribes of which the Anglo-Saxons were just one. It is directly related to the German word Jugend ‘youth’ and also to the word young.
William Foley – Professor of Linguistics, University of Sydney, Australia

Defining young adulthood there is a debate regarding terminology and associated age ranges.
Dr Nathan Hughes defined adolescence as the period between the ages of 10 and 24.

According to the United Nations website, the UN Secretariat uses the term Youth to mean age 15 – 24 with the understanding that member states and other entities use different definitions. (2)

For the purpose of this blog, we will use Youth to mean age 10 – 24.

Dear World,

We have another International Youth Day and the theme for 2017 is Youth Building Peace.

United Nations International Youth Day quote on their website that there is a growing recognition that as agents of change, young people are critical actors in conflict prevention and sustaining peace. This day is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice and sustainable peace.

The current generation of Youth are the largest in history and young people often comprise the majority in countries marked by armed conflict or unrest, therefore considering the needs and aspirations of youth in matters of peace and security is a demographic imperative. (3)

In 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth that 12 August be declared International Youth Day. The Focal Point on Youth selects a theme for the day often with input from Youth organisations and members of the UN Inter-Agency Network in Youth development.

The Programme encourages Youth around the world to organise activities to raise awareness about the situation of Youth in their country. (4)

2000   First Observance of International Youth Day
2001   Addressing Health and Unemployment
2002   Now and for the Future: Youth Action for Sustainable Development
2003   Finding Decent and Productive Work for Young People Everywhere
2004   Youth in an Intergenerational Society
2005   WPAY + 10: Making Commitments Matter
2006   Tackling Poverty Together
2007   Be Seen, Be Heard: Youth Participation for Development
2008   Youth and Climate Change: Time for Action
2009   Sustainability: Our Challenge. Our Future
2010   Dialogue and Mutual Understanding
2011   Change Our World
2012   Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth
2013   Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward
2014   Mental Health Matters
2015   Youth Civic Engagement
2016   Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainability
2017   Youth Building Peace


So what has happened since our first observance 18 years ago?
What have we addressed in Youth Health and Unemployment?
What action have we taken globally for our Youth?
What have we done in terms of decent and productive work for young people?
Does anyone know what an Intergenerational Society is?
Do we all know and understand what WPAY + 10 means?
How has our world dealt with tackling youth poverty in the past 11 years?
Have we allowed our Youth to truly be seen and heard?
How have our Youth taken action about climate change?
Can we honestly say our Youth have had positive sustainability?
How has the dialogue of our Youth been in the past 7 years?
How have our Youth changed the world and is this something to celebrate?
How have we partnered with our Youth and built a better world?
Can we say that we have truly been moving Youth forward?
What is this blog saying about the mental health of our Youth?
Does anyone on the street know what Youth civic engagement actually means?
Our Youth blog 2016 talks about the Road to 2030 theme so no more here.
This year we have Youth Building Peace.

On that note – could it be possible that we cannot build peace if we have an internal war going on inside us?

Could it be possible that there is a constant state of unrest with our Youth of today?

Could it be possible after reading this blog that our Youth are not able to build peace?

Could it be possible that words used to create International day themes are easy but to live them are not so easy?
In other words, we can all jump on the bandwagon and champion whatever is out there but to then take it back to our everyday life and make those changes is not so easy as it requires the word RESPONSIBILITY at the core of every choice, if we want to see real change.

Do we need to take note that our current generation of Youth are the largest in history?
Does this mean then that we have the largest population of future adults coming through?
What will our world be like with the largest population of adults based on the Youth today?

On that note – here are some highlights or we could call them headlines from news stories across the globe about the situation of our Youth which this blog can bring to raise awareness.

1 in 5 children miss food or sleep.

41% aged 11 – 19 said they had seen something on the Internet that had upset or worried them.

46% teachers say that pupils are distracted in class because of mobile telephones. (5)


Teenage hackers sent to rehab to put their skills to good use in fight against cyber-crime. (6)

62% adolescent patients seen in inappropriate settings.
Survey conducted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2015 of Child and Adolescent mental health workers

14% mental health workers say patients attempted to kill themselves while waiting for suitable bed. (7)

The Case of X

X is a 17 year old girl in the care of the local authority currently held in custody and due for release but a secure unit has not been found.
Secure unit needed as X tried to kill herself several times.
X described as having a “determined wish” to kill herself.
Lives in a stripped room and is restrained for “hours on end”.
Staff have to check on her every 50 seconds when she is in the shower.
Staff do not think it will take more than 24 to 48 hours before they receive a phone call stating that X has made a successful attempt on her life, Court Judgement says. (7)

Suicides by young people peak in exam season, report finds.

Pressure to get good results is harming their mental health. (8)

Suicide is the leading cause of death in young people in England and Wales. (9)

More than third of teenage girls in England suffer depression and anxiety.

37% reported feeling unhappy, worthless or unable to concentrate.

52% increase in under 16 admissions to hospital for self-harm.
Marjorie Wallace, Chief Executive – Sane Mental Health Charity (10)

800,000 children suffering mental health problems – watchdog report.

46,000 young people aged 10 – 18 are members of street gangs.

1,200 children every year are newly identified as victims of modern slavery.
Children’s Commissioner for England report 2017 (11)

We can trace in minute detail the academic progress of a child from age 4 to 18 and beyond, but when it comes to describing and assessing the scale of negative factors in a child’s life, which will hamper their progress, we are floundering.
Anne Longfield – Children’s Commissioner for England (11)

12% rise in number of under 18’s on antidepressants in England.

166,000 given antidepressant medications between April 2015 and June 2016.
537 aged six or under.

Experts fear some children and young people are prescribed drugs because they face long waiting lists for psychotherapy on the NHS. (12)

8-9 year olds seeing GP’s worried about how they are looking.

Talking to parents and not wanting to eat because food is fattening. (13)

Vagina surgery “sought by girls as young as nine’ because of pornography’.

GPs referring young girls for unneeded labiaplasty – an operation where the lips of the vagina are shortened or reshaped. (14)

1 in 4 teenagers now obese by the age of 15. (15)

Fidget spinners that can puncture the skin have been discovered for sale in UK.

The spinners originally designed to help children with conditions such as autism deal with stress, have now become a playground craze. (16)

Ages 5 to 15 are spending average 15 hours a week using Internet.

12 to 15 year olds online for over 20 hours a week.

37% 3 to 4 year olds rising to 87% of 12 to 15 year olds watch YouTube. (17)


A new study from the National Institutes of Health shows that young people experiencing first episode psychosis have a much higher death rate than previously thought.

This study is a wake-up call telling us that young people experiencing psychosis need intensive, integrated clinical and psychosocial supports.
Michael Schoenbaum, Ph.D., Senior Advisor for Mental Health Services, Epidemiology and Economics at National Institute of Health (18)

Chronic Depression in Young Teens tied to Marijuana use later.

3,000,000 young people aged 12 – 17 experienced at least one major depressive episode.
National estimates for 2015 (19)

Depression rates for teen girls spikes in an age of cyber bullying.

Depression is a sizable and growing deadly threat to U.S. adolescent population.
Anne Glowinski and Giuseppe D’Amelio – Washington University in St. Louis (20)

Digital abuse and sexting affect young people from all walks of life. (21)

4,300 young people aged 10 to 24 were victims of homicide.

3rd largest leading cause of death for young people is homicide.

86% homicide victims were killed with a firearm in 2014.

501,581 young people aged 10 to 24 were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained from physical assaults in 2014.

10.2% of all violent crime arrests were juveniles (under 18s) in 2015.

605 juveniles arrested for murder.
2,745 for forcible rape.
21,993 for aggravated assault.

31 homicides of Youth aged 5 to 18 years, occurred at school during the school year 2012-2013.

20.2% reported being bullied on school property.
15.5% reported being bullied electronically by –
Chat room
Instant messaging

21.7% – prevalence higher among females
9.7% males
2015 nationally-representative sample of Youth in grades 9-12
above reported in 12 months preceding the survey. (22)


Drug addiction and abuse among Canadian teens is on the rise.

Teenagers are committing suicide in large numbers when under the influence of drugs.

Drug overdose among teens is also causing them to suffer from seriousness diseases.

60% of the drug users are aged 16 – 24.

Health problems associated with drug abuse that teens undergo include:
Short term memory loss
Hypoxia (oxygen deficiency)
Psychomotor retardation
Liver damage
Decreased appetite
Cardiovascular disease
Panic attacks (23)

Drug Abuse among Teenagers

2013 – High School students in senior years used marijuana more than they smoked cigarettes.

Majority of teenagers in Canada do not consider marijuana to be harmful and of any serious danger to health.

60% teenagers who are victims of drug abuse get their drugs from friends or relatives.

Majority of teenagers believe that trying out heroin or cocaine once or twice is not harmful for their body, mind or behaviour.

Teenagers using drugs are more likely to drop out of school, hence causing social problems.

These dropouts later become heavy drug users and affect their whole lives with the use of substances that give them nothing more than some seconds of pleasure. (23)


Salvador – the city where children fend for themselves on the streets. (24)


40% of youths under age 18 worry about receiving hostile or demeaning texts and emails. (25)

Cyber bullying – girls are the majority of online bullies in Perth.

Doctoring images to belittle class mates aged 11 – is latest trend among cyber bullies. (26)

Children aged 15 allowed to smoke on lunch break at school. (27)


Child Rape Holidays


JK entertainment industry (female high school students) sells access to girls through a range of services that include the chance to smell or tickle a school girl and increasingly, prostitution. (28)


Bullying video on Live Leak show three boys beating a smaller one and larger boy peeing on him.
Girl beaten by a gang of girl bullies, while other students watch.
Two girls beaten by girl bullies who try strip off their clothes. (29)


1 in 5 students dependent on smartphones. (30)


76% experienced cyber bullying or seen it happen. (31)


Over 66% of parents allow their children Internet access before aged 11, despite having numerous concerns. (32)


Pakistani Trolls use Facebook to attack young students. (33)


3 in 5 bullied adolescents consider ending their own lives.

6.9% of all Columbian adolescents have attempted suicide. (34)

Is there more that needs to change?
Is our world in trouble if the Youth of today are going to be our future?
Do we need to get a dose of reality and get honest for starters?

How is our world going to cope with what is coming ahead?

Are we prepared and are we on the front foot when it comes to our Youth?
Are we comfortable with the choices the Youth of today are generally making?
Are we back peddling in anyway and not dealing first hand with what is being presented by our Youth of today?
Are we all failing in the common sense department when it comes to dealing with our Youth?
Are we busy finding solutions after the event?
In other words, we get the latest problem with our Youth, then we go to science and research to test what we know is already going on and then we go into re-action and do something by way of solution.

WHY are our Youth fighting on our streets under our noses?
WHY are there more Youth going to Youth Offender Institutions?
WHY is there more gun crime amongst our Youth?
WHY are more and more Youth joining gangs as a way of living?
WHY are the police being trained for mental health with our Youth?

WHY are our Youth needing to smoke at such a young age?
WHY are our Youth self-harming and why is this not on front page news?
WHY are our Youth having Eating Disorders?
WHY are our Youth ok living on fast foods and takeaway?
WHY are our Youth eating in excess to fill a void in their lives?

WHY are our Youth having body image issues?
WHY are our Youth turning to distractions to get through life?
WHY are our Youth watching porn in the first place?
WHY are our Youth addicted to Social Media?
WHY are our Youth feeling it is ok to cyber bully their mates?

WHY are our Youth wanting to have a celebrity way of life?
WHY are our Youth fixated on what others think of them?
WHY are our Youth tempted by glamour lifestyles with big money?

WHY are our Youth struggling with real life communication?
WHY are our Youth doing sexting and getting away with it?
WHY are our Youth asking for body piercing?
WHY are our Youth desperate for the next tattoo?

WHY are our Youth secretly doing things that are harming them?
WHY are our Youth not bothering to look after their true health?
WHY are our Youth not educated about the word RESPONSIBILITY?
WHY are our Youth seeking real role models but not finding them?

WHY are we as parents, guardians, adults and elders in the community not supporting our Youth with simple communication?

WHY do we hold back when it comes to giving proper advice and discipline to our Youth?
WHY are we so afraid of our Youth of today that we don’t bother to express what we feel?
WHY do most elders in the community not come forward with the lived wisdom they know would benefit our Youth?

WHY are we so busy coming up with ways to function and keep going and deny what is really going on, when it comes to our Youth?

WHY are we losing the good old fashioned stuff of sitting around the table and talking about anything and everything?

WHY are we not interested in finding out more about the behaviour of our Youth today?

WHY are we so exhausted when it comes to our Youth and we just want them to grow up?
WHY are we overwhelmed and feeling helpless and hopeless when it comes to our Youth?
WHY do we have a weak spot when it comes to real discipline for our Youth?
WHY are we so busy making excuses and blaming the world when it comes to our Youth?
WHY are so many of us really not able to make our Youth a Priority in life?

WHY do we contemplate fobbing our Youth off to others like it ain’t our problem?
WHY are we not talking and demanding answers about our Youth and Mental Health?
WHY is it not of great concern to all of us when any of our Youth consider Suicide?
WHY are most of us simply sitting on the fence and doing nothing instead of Doing Something?

Tomatoes grow underground and pasta comes from animals according to UK school children and teenagers. (35)

64% aged 14 – 16 use the Internet as a reliable source for healthy eating.

This survey also states that teenagers think strawberry jam is healthy eating.

Schools and families can and should successfully work together to, in turn, educate children and then motivate them in their endeavours to make healthier choices…
Roy Ballam, Managing Director and Head of Education – British Nutrition Foundation (35)

What age do we need to start educating our children?

Could it be possible that children are less likely to be motivated if they can feel the person ‘educating’ them is not choosing healthy food options consistently in their own life?

Could it be possible that our teenagers are using the Internet as their main source of information on healthy eating because they are not convinced that those around are living healthy?

WHY are we not feeding our kids the food we know will support them?

Could it be possible that families are exhausted and healthy food choices are not high on the priority list every single day?

Could it be possible that our teenagers don’t want to know that strawberry jam, which is full of sugar is actually not a healthy choice?

Could it be possible that parents need education and real life role models to teach them about why eating healthy foods can make a big difference to the human body?

Could it be possible that motivation is not needed, but true inspiration is and that means living in a way that others can feel is possible and this will then inspire them to be the same?

Could it be possible that we need to take education one step further and look at all our daily choices as part of our true health and not just food?
For example, looking at our sleep in detail and making this as important as food?

The Good Childhood Report 2016
Analysis of different types of mental health issues and different domains of well-being reveals that as girls get older, they are more likely than boys to be unhappy with their appearance and life as a whole and are more likely to experience emotional health problems such as anxiety and depression. (36)

Zero Hour Contracts
Young people on zero-hour contracts were 1.5 times more likely to report having a mental health problem compared with someone on a more secure employment contract.
One likely cause was financial stress or anxiety associated with having a low-status job.
Dr. Morag Henderson – Lead Author, study conducted by the UCL Institute of Education (37)

Insecure Work
27 July 2017 – new report from Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Business in the Community found younger workers in unstable work – or who are underemployed and/or overqualified:

22% younger graduates in jobs for which they are overqualified for report being anxious or depressed.

29% more likely to experience poorer mental health and wellbeing. (38)

Global Rise in Youth Unemployment
2016 – The International Labour Organization’s World Employment and Social Outlook, Trends for Youth report shows that as a result, the global number of unemployed Youth was set to rise by 500,000 reaching 71 million – the first such increase in 3 years. (39)

Exam Stress ‘Among Teen Suicide Causes’
Exam pressures and physical health problems, like acne are major contributory factors in the suicides of young people, according to research.

Experts at University of Manchester also found bullying and family bereavement were linked to suicides.

Office for National Statistics figures, suggested student suicides have risen to their highest level since at least 2007.

Pressure on young people is increasing. Peer pressure – from family, teachers and friends – has always been there, but it does seem to be increasing…the need to be popular, liked and happy is fairly universal and it is unrealistic.
Ged Flynn – Chief Executive, Papyrus Anti-Suicide Charity (40)

School Exclusions: Record Numbers for Drugs and Alcohol



9,250 permanent and fixed period exclusions for drugs and alcohol handed out by schools.

2,140 exclusions issued to pupils for sexual misconduct.

50,000 exclusions handed out to children in Yorkshire and Humber for variety of reasons.

Number of drug and alcohol exclusions highest rate since 2010. (41)

66% adult prison population at some point excluded from school.
Report from the Institute of Public Policy Research (41)

50% pupils expelled from England’s schools have mental health issue. (42)

If excluded students with undiagnosed problems were included, the rate would be much higher.

Number of fixed term and permanent exclusions is rising.

346,000 permanent and fixed-term exclusions at state funded schools in 2014-15.
Highest number since 2009.

More students becoming disengaged from school, which leads to behaviour and mental health problems.
Kevin Courtney – General Secretary, National Union of Teachers (42)

Binge Drinking and Teen Brains

Brains of young binge drinkers were thinner in areas associated with important processes like memory, attention and awareness.

Adolescents who binge drink experience changes in the brain that could make it more difficult to pay attention in class, learn new words or remember information for tests.
Anita Cservenka – Assistant Professor, Oregon State University (43)

Teenagers who binge drink more likely to have lasting, irreversible consequences on their brains.

Girls engaging in heavy drinking during adolescence perform more poorly on tests of spatial functioning, which links to mathematics, engineering kinds of functions. (43)
Boys binge drinking – poor performance on tests of attention. (44)
Dr. Susan Tapert – Professor of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego

Teeth grinding in teenagers could be a sign of being bullied at school research suggests.

Teeth grinding can lead to headaches, worn-down teeth and disrupted sleep and it appears to be on the rise.

13 – 15 year olds who experienced verbal bullying at school, 4 times likely to suffer from teeth-grinding at night or sleep bruxism (clenching and grinding teeth at night).
Study published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation (45)

Grinding teeth may not sound like a priority…but could prove a vital insight into a child’s state of mind and an important sign to identify bullying at an earlier stage.
Dr. Nigel Carter – Oral Health Foundation (45)

Vlogging has become a lucrative career path.
UK firm offering classes for children booked up with a waiting list of 125 children.
The Week – Page 8, Issue 1116 dated 18 March 2017

Kids Selling Drugs Online (46)
The money is addictive.
When I’m grown up I’m not going to be selling to little kids…but I am a little kid and I sell these things and all these people that want it they’re going to come.
It’s not my fault that they want it. Tai – aged 16 (not real name)


1 in 5 aged 16 to 24 took illegal drugs.

Some online dealers are as young as 13.

Emojis are used as codes for buying drugs online.

16 year old making £300 per day selling drugs. Started selling aged 12. (47)

Internet Addiction

Internet Addiction is not yet classed as a psychiatric disorder. (48)

40 million people affected by this condition according to specialists.
20% are young adults who suffer from some form of Internet addiction.

Majority technology addiction in young men involves gaming.
Common factor in addiction is the escapism it provides.

Young interviewee felt a sense of worth being another name/character online instead of being depressed in real life.

Growing trend of younger women getting hooked on social media.
Psychologists report young women chasing likes on social media, a fixation that can have serious impact on development of self-esteem, social skills and authentic identity. (48)

Scientists found five days without a smartphone, young girls were better at reading facial expressions and engaging emotionally.

Progress in treating Internet addiction is hindered by psychologists who do not accept it as a disorder. (48)

Pupil to Teacher Violence

Survey from Education Union – the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

40% teachers have experienced violence from pupils in 2015.

66% teachers felt pupils under more stress than 2 years ago.

45% stated pupil behaviour had got worse in the last 2 years.

50% said it was down to pupil’s mental health issues.

78% pointed to emotional and behavioural difficulties as the cause. (49)


46,000 children in England are involved in gangs. (50)

Children as young as 10 recruited into gangs, that could be extremely violent, intimidatory and sexually abusive.

Children looking for “a sense of belonging”, “fast money” or “glamour” were at risk.

Criminals lure children in apparent money-making opportunities on social media, passing money through their accounts to disguise the source of illicit funds.

Criminals prey on younger people because of their lack of knowledge, in particular about money laundering.

‘Life skills lessons’ should include information on the risks of becoming involved in gangs, an understanding of how gangs target children and help in building resilience to resist them. (50)

Most schools at the moment do provide life skill lessons but they are often inconsistent and often don’t tackle some of these issues that are much harder to tackle.
Anne Longfield – Children’s Commissioner for England (50)

Is the above statement from the Children’s Commissioner for England confirming that something is missing?

WHY are we floundering when it comes to the minute detail?

With all our academic Intelligence – how come we have not yet been able to assess the negative factors in a child’s life?

What is stopping us and WHY is this not a priority?
WHY are we not questioning this when we all know that this will affect the child’s adult life?


Study – researchers interviewed police, probation service, local authorities and health services in 33 areas across England and Wales to find out how the nature of gangs and their perception is changing.

Children as young as nine being drawn into gangs, often to deliver or store drugs.
Research from the Home Office (51)

School children recruited with offers of trainers and tracksuits are set drug selling targets.
Punished if these targets are not met.
Sexual exploitation of girls in gangs is becoming more prevalent.

The method of recruitment – target young, easily influenced youths as young as 12 from local schools and surrounding area. Gang Member

Some instances youngsters were away from home or care for several days.

50% gang members were aged 12 to 14.
33% between age 9 and 11. (51)

Nearly all gang members said sexual or physical violence against girls happened “sometimes” or “often” within gangs, often as punishment or to take revenge on rival gangs.

Gang members said women and girls used to carry and hide weapons, take prohibited items into prison and transport drugs.

Gang associates told researchers that girls were motivated to perform sexual acts with gang members “because of your reputation and your name”.
Girls were known to have sex with 10 men and “she gets to brag about it with her brethren”. (51)

Social media is now the preferred way to recruit new gang members as more covert tactic.

Metropolitan Police warn fraudsters are targeting children as ‘money mules’.

The scam involves transferring stolen money through children’s bank accounts to hide it from the authorities. (52)
Pupils were being approached outside school gates and on social media.

Some as young as 13 or 14 responding to adverts they see on social media, on video sharing sites, which are offering money in exchange for moving money through their bank account.
They are being induced by images of people waving wads of cash at them.
Sandra Peaston – Assistant Director, Cifas Fraud Prevention Service (52)

Young people are increasingly tempted by fraudsters who offer a small cash fee in return for transferring money through their bank accounts.

Offenders aged 18 to 25 are 10 times more likely to have a learning disability.

Temperance – the ability to evaluate the consequences of actions and to limit impulsiveness and risk-taking is still developing when a person is in their 20’s. (53)


Young adults still account for a significant and disproportionate volume of criminal justice caseloads.

Under age 25 represent 10% of general population but 30 – 40% of criminal justice caseloads.

75% young adults are reconvicted within two years of release from prison. (1)

Dear Dear World

How serious is this about our Youth of today?

Are we aware that most statistics are well out of date and so the real figures are probably much higher?

How extreme is the behaviour of our Youth today?

How has it got to this stage where so much is going on for our Youth?

Are science and our current form of education keeping up with what is needed or are they going for solutions?

Are we on the front foot when it comes to our global Youth issues?

Are we accepting a reality that is far from the Truth when it comes to our Youth?

Have we given up with our Youth because we have given up on ourselves?

Have we realised that our Youth of today are going to be our future adult generation?

What sort of world is ahead if this is the state of our Youth today all over the world?

What are we really celebrating when so many of our Youth are deeply suffering and in need of help?

Helping our Youth is a much-needed factor.
Truly helping them requires real commitment and one’s personal success to provide very real inspiration. Serge Benhayon (54)

Is this man saying something that is currently missing for our world?

Could we possibly learn something here from this wise man?

Do we first need to have a real Commitment to Life and then define what true success is?

Is this the inspiration our Youth of today need?

Could it be possible that what is missing is the old-fashioned stuff of communication and connection, where our Youth feel safe to express whatever they feel?

Could it be that Simple?

If you are feeling suicidal, contact your GP for support or the Suicide Helplines.

In a crisis contact your emergency services.

Suicide Helplines

UK – Samaritans available 24 hours
Tel: 116 123 or email

Childline – for children and young people
Tel: 0800 1111

USA – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Tel:  1-800-273-8255

Other Countries
Check International Association for Suicide Prevention Resources on Crisis Centers


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(9) (2017, July 13). Suicide in Children and Young People Linked to Bereavement, New Report finds. The University of Manchester. Retrieved August 5, 2017 from

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(11) Bodkin, H. (2017, July 4). 800,000 Children Suffering Mental Health Problems – Watchdog Report. The Telegraph. Retrieved August 7, 2017 from

(12) Marsh, S. (2017, June 18). Number of Under-18s on Antidepressants in England Rises by 12%. The Guardian. Retrieved August 5, 2017 from

(13) Campbell, D. (2016, November 20). ‘Cyber-bullies, Obesity and Stress … This is a Scary World’ says the New Top GP. The Guardian. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(14) Horton, H. (2017, July 3). Vagina Surgery ‘Sought by Girls as Young as Nine’ Because of Pornography, Doctors Reveal. The Telegraph. Retrieved August 5, 2017 from

(15) Donnelly, L. (2015, January 30). One in Four Teens Now Obese by 15. The Telegraph. Retrieved August 8, 2017 from

(16) (2017, August 2). Fidget Spinners: Safety Fears Over Children’s Craze. BBC News. Retrieved August 7, 2017 from

(17) Jackson, J. (2016, November 16). More Than a Third of 12- to 15-Year-Olds are Exposed to Hate Speech Online. The Guardian. Retrieved August 5, 2017 from–to-15-year-olds-are-exposed-to-hate-speech-online

(18) (2017, April 6). Higher Death Rate Among Youth with First Episode Psychosis. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(19) Paddock, C. (2017, July 19). Chronic Depression in Young Teens Tied to Marijuana Use Later. Medical News Today. Retrieved August 7, 2017 from

(20) Gallucci, M. (2016, November 2016). Depression Rates for Teen Girls Spikes in an Age of Cyber Bullying. Mashable UK. Retrieved August 5, 2017 from

(21) A Thin Line 2009 AP-MTV Digital Abuse Study. A Thin Line. Retrieved August 5, 2017 from

(22) Youth Violence: Facts at a Glance. CDC. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(23) Drug Addiction among Canadian Teens Facts and Figures. Canadian Addiction Rehab. Retrieved August 6, 2017

(24) (2017, April 16). Salvador: The City Where Children Fend for Themselves on the Streets. BBC News. Retrieved August 7, 2017 from 

(25) (2017, March 29). How to Stop Cyberbullying in Australia. No Retrieved August 5, 2017 from

(26) Hickey, P. (2016, May 7). Cyber Bullying: Girls the Majority of Online Bullies in Perth. Perth Now. Retrieved August 5, 2017 from

(27) Keating, F. (2017, July 23). Children as Young as 15 Allowed to Smoke on Lunch Break at Australian School. Independent. Retrieved August 7, 2017 from 

(28) Koh, S. (2017, March 31). From Scents to Sex: The Business of Japan’s High School Girls for Hire. Channel News Asia. Retrieved August 7, 2017 from

(29) (2017, April 19). Bullying in China. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(30) Koo, R. (2014, April 9). Higher Chances of Cyber-Bullying among Smartphone-Dependent Teenagers. The Korea Bizwire. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(31) (2016, March 18). Cyberbullying Among Children and Youths in Taiwan – 2016. Child Welfare League Foundation (CWLF). Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(32) (2017, January 25). Cyberbullying a Growing Fear for Kiwi Parents. News Hub. Retrieved August 6, 217 from

(33) (2016, June 28). Pakistani Trolls Use Facebook to Attack Young Students. Take Back the Tech. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(34) Paige, C. (2014, February 7). 60% of Colombia’s Bullied Minors Contemplate Suicide, 19.8% Attempt It: NGO Study. Colombia Reports. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(35) (n.d). Tomatoes Grow Underground and Pasta Comes from Animals, According to UK School Children and Teens. British Nutrition Foundation. Retrieved August 5, 2017 from

(36) The Good Childhood Report 2016. The Children’s Society. p.34. Retrieved August 5, 2017 from

(37) Marsh, S. (2017, July 5). Zero-Hours Contracts Affect Young People’s Health, Study Finds. The Guardian. Retrieved August 5, 2017 from

(38) Slawson, N., & Guardian Readers. (2017, July 27).  Millennials: How Does Insecure Work Affect Your Mental Health? The Guardian. Retrieved August 5, 2017 from

(39) (2016, August 25). Global Youth Unemployment is on the Rise Again. International Labour Organization (ILO). Retrieved August 5, 2017 from

(40) Buchanan, M. (2016, May 25). Exam Stress ‘Among Teen Suicide Causes’. BBC News. Retrieved August 5, 2017 from

(41) Rhodes, D. (2017, July 21). School Exclusions: Record Numbers for Drugs and Alcohol. BBC News. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(42) (2017, July 20). Half of Pupils Expelled from School ‘Mentally Ill’. BBC News. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(43) Matthews, M. (2017, July 21). Binge Drinking in Teens Linked to Long-Term Memory, Attention Problems. Medical Daily. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(44) Trudeau, M. (2010, January 25). Teen Drinking May Cause Irreversible Brain Damage. NPR. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(45) (2017, July 14). Teeth-Grinding in Teens ‘a Sign of Being Bullied’. BBC News. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(46) (2017, July 14). Teens Found Selling Drugs on Snapchat and Instagram, BBC Three Investigation Finds. Newsbeat. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(47) (2017, July 14). Stacey Dooley Investigates: Kids Selling Drugs Online. BBC. Retrieved July 27, 2017 from

(48) Ward, T. (2017, July 14). Internet Addiction is Ruining Lives. Here’s What We Can Do About It. Futurism. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(49) Richardson, H. (2016, January 29). Four in Ten Teachers ‘Attacked by Pupils’. BBC News. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(50) (2017, July 30). ‘Teach Pupils to Avoid Gangs’ – Children’s Commissioner. BBC News. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(51) (2016, January 13). Drugs Gangs Recruiting Nine-Year-Olds, Research Suggests. BBC News. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

(52) (2017, July 29). Met Police Warn Fraudsters Are Targeting Child ‘Money Mules’. BBC News. Retrieved August 6, 2017 from

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(54) Greig, A., and the UM Facts Team. (2014, June 24). Lance Martin – Sexual Obsessions of the Cyber-bully. Retrieved August 9, 2017 from

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Comments 50

  1. Our children are a good marker as to how the world is.

    They are not as accepting as adults of what is not working. They feel things and know what is right and wrong. They have not worked out ways to cope with life, so they are affected more.

    This blog is a huge wake up call.

    Why is it that our children are having so much difficulty living life?

    It is because they have few role models that they feel have their act together.

    It is our responsibility to show our children a way of living that works. This is how children truly learn.

    It can not just look good on the outside, our youth will see right through it.

    The Simple Living Global’s Back to Basics program presents what our children need. It gives them a foundation that allows them to develop a sense of trust in themselves, that they do know what is right and what they need.

    If this is truly lived, it is the best way to “teach” our children how to be in the world.

    We all know what is true,
    It is our responsibility as parents to live this truth so we can show our children it is ok to live their truth. Basically just being themselves.

  2. Any one of these statistics would be upsetting, and an urgent call for help from young people… and yet here we are presented with a huge list of figures that represent a very ill picture of what it is to grow up in our world today.

    “Suicide is the leading cause of death in young people in England and Wales”
    How have we come to this?
    When beautiful, bright amazing young people are murdering themselves…. it shows us that something is terribly wrong in society, it tells us that what we are all doing is not working to cultivate a healthy, natural environment to grow up in…

    I know that what Simple Living Global presents here is what is missing for us all:

    We need to get personal with this and ask ourselves if we have a real Commitment to Life.

    We need to reconsider what true success is because role models who look good but do not live with true purpose, joy and vitality is not cutting it.

    Don’t we all feel the lack of communication and connection and feeling safe to express and be just who we are?

    Maybe, just maybe we hold a responsibility to our youth to cultivate a society that allows us room to be who we are by taking the courage to get more honest & out spoken about what we feel, get real and be who we are even when and especially when it bucks the current system…

  3. Where to start?

    There is so much here.

    Such a devastating reality, if you think about how life could and should be for our youth and how far away we are from that.

    The lack of role models feels huge. If we are honest, when we look around us, how many people do WE see role modelling something that feels true and purposeful in our every day? How many people truly inspire us?

    How must that be for our young people, looking around in the same way?

    That’s a very motivating thought to get on with living more of what’s needed in the world.

  4. I was reading about a new craze in youth cyber bullying called ‘baiting’.

    Teens are posting about their ‘friends’ online, saying they have had sex with people. It is all lies and they are creating images and stories to make it look real and sharing in a way that encourages and makes it easy for others to jump on the cyber abuse bandwagon.

    Are we seeing what is truly going on? Is the cyber abuse getting worse as well as increasing? Are we seeing more premeditation, more focus, more extreme behaviour?

    What is going on for our youth?

    Are we even talking about this or maybe just reading it in the papers and shrugging our shoulders?

  5. Brilliant blog – shocking statistics – deeply sad to get a sense of how the younger generation are at this time. This blog gives a very vivid pulse of what is going on today.

    And today again in the news – “Teen’s death at Chinese internet addiction camp sparks anger”
    “A Chinese teenager has died days after he was sent to an internet addiction treatment centre, reigniting criticism of these controversial institutions.” – what on earth is going on here?

    Why are we not all getting together to talk about it? Don’t we need to call a huge AGM (annual general meeting) of all 7 billion of us and look at this problem together? it is on our watch.

  6. The AGM is a great idea Jane. There would be a long agenda.

    We would need to talk about ‘hazing’ too.

    It is turning up on the statute books of different states in the US and in the rule books of schools and universities. It’s basically a new word for initiation ceremonies, aka abuse in the name of belonging.

    There are loads of statistics out there if you do a search for ‘hazing statistics’:

    1.5 million high school students are ‘hazed’ each year
    91% of all high school students belong to at least one group, and half of them report being hazed
    43% were subjected to humiliating activities
    30% performed potentially illegal acts as part of their initiation
    In college sports, 22% say sports coaches are involved in hazing
    In just one state – Pennsylvania – 15 young people have died in hazing-related incidents

    It is shocking to see what’s going on and the size of the problem.

    US high schools and universities are waking up to the problem and trying to figure out what to do about it.

    What is underneath all this? Why are our young people doing this?

    Are we seeing a parallel here between the abuse of, by and between young people online in the form of escalating cyber abuse and the abuse of, by and between young people offline, in the real world?

  7. It is all about honoring our children. A simple concept but what does it mean?

    My wife made a simple request of me and there was a reaction in me to it. When I react to someone it is a sign that there is something deeper going on.

    It took me a while but I realized that my reaction was because I felt my wife’s request was not coming from a true place.

    That is fine, but why was I reacting? It was because it brought up a feeling that I did not want to feel. I did not honor my feeling that something did not feel right, and I did not speak up about it.

    This happened to me as a child. I did not feel honored, did not feel listened to, and I chose to not honor myself and speak my truth.

    That choice is the devastation, the choice to not honor myself. When I do not honor myself it is easy to make bad choices in my life. This is what is happening in our youth.

    Our responsibility as parents is to treat our children as equals and show them a way to live that honors all of humanity. Our children learn from what they see and feel not what they are taught.

  8. Today is the day when many teenagers get their A’level results from school – their future education and work depends on these grades/results and it puts so much pressure on them to achieve high grades.

    Childline has already had a lot of calls for support from teenagers about this –

    “Figures released by Childline show that more than 1,000 counselling sessions were provided to teenagers worried about their grades in the last financial year, a rise of more than a fifth (21 per cent) over the last two years.”

    Have we lost the plot regarding education? to what end do we want to put so much pressure on young people that they have mental health problems before they even begin their working lives? Surely there is another way?

  9. The in depth information and statistics you share with what is really going on with our youth today and the extremes they are living is Shocking. It is a call for us all to stop and take notice, for us to bring the desperately needed change.. all of us.

  10. 17TH AUGUST 2017

    BBC News story about a 10 year old Indian girl who was raped and has just given birth has some shocking statistics at the end on the scale of abuse in India:

    A child under 16 is raped every 155 minutes (that’s about every 2 1/2 hours)

    A child under 10 is raped every 13 hours

    More than 10,000 children were raped in 2015

    240 million women living in India were married before they turned 18

    53% of children who took part in a government study reported some form of sexual abuse

    50% of the people who abuse are known to the child or are ‘persons in trust and care-givers’.

    As we know statistics only ever give us a portion of what is going on; a portion in this case and in one country is off the scale.

    Have we ever asked the question –

    What is causing abuse to breed and grow so rapidly?

    It’s too easy to just write off those that carry out the obvious forms of abuse as the problem – when is it possible that we are all contributing to the breeding ground of abuse through the way that we live?

    Do we put up with situations because we get to have something or someone but deep down we know it is less than loving? This is abuse.

    I know that reading this story is making me stop to look at my life and the areas of abuse that I allow that most would not deem abusive.

    If I care about the future of our Youth, I know that I have a responsibility to get on with saying NO to abuse in ALL areas of my life.

    Being open to recognising and calling out abuse is the first step.

  11. An article in ‘’ talks about how “Opioid OD deaths increase among teens.”

    A new Federal report finds that the rate of opioid drug overdose deaths among older teenagers in the US has taken a turn for the worse.

    The number of drug overdose deaths among 15-19 year olds rose 15% for males from 2014-2015 and 35% for females from 2013-2015.

    A professor at the University of California says that, “Overdose of opioid pills is the bigger problem among middle-age and older age groups, while heroin contaminated by fentanyl are a huge problem among younger people.”

    (Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more powerful.)

    “Heroin has been a stealth contributor to opioid deaths, climbing since 2005 as prescription pill deaths have decreased since the mid 2000’s. Then fentanyl came along in 2014, making the heroin environment deadlier.”

    The director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School said, “the report findings are disheartening but not surprising and they reflect a major shift in drug use among American teens.”

    “In 1975, just 2% of teens interviewed said they’d never used alcohol, tobacco or marijuana. That number grew to 25% in 2015. More teens are deciding not to use drugs, but those who do have entered a different and more complex landscape.

    Marijuana isn’t what it was in 1975, and the opioids are a new product on the scene that keep evolving and tend to become addictive and more dangerous.”

    “There needs to be more access to methadone-like drugs that help people help wean themselves off opioids. Few addicted young people are treated with these drugs”, she said in answer to the question, ‘How can opioid abuse be reduced among young people?’

    Methadone is an opioid medication that reduces withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to heroin or other narcotic drugs without causing the “high” associated with drug addiction.

    Methadone can slow or stop your breathing, especially when you start this medicine or when your dose is changed. Methadone should never be used in large amounts or for longer than prescribed. This medicine may be habit forming even at regular doses. Methadone may cause a life threatening heart rhythm disorder.

    It seems counter productive to ‘use drugs to get someone off drugs’ especially if that so called ‘remedial’ drug has side effects, is addictive in itself and could even cause death.

    By weaning people off drugs, are we not just putting a plaster over a wound, so in-truth, there is no true healing and therefore is it possible that whatever drove that person to start taking drugs in the first place may reoccur?

    Is it possible we need to put more focus into ‘WHY’ our youth feel the need to start down a very harmful road of substance abuse?

  12. As has been noted here mental health services for young people are already at bursting point. I have spoken to a lot of parents recently who say they are unable to get appointments for their teenagers due to the high demand, and those who provide the services are at their wits end in trying to meet the demand. Not only is there a call for more service provision, there is the question as to why it is this way?

    Why do we have so much mental health issues in young people?


    Check this article link published in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry recently.

    It is telling us that children and teenagers worldwide have significant mental health problems including –

    Disruptive behavior disorders
    ADHD – attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    If untreated, these disorders can remain throughout adulthood and have negative effects in many aspects of life.

    So we are putting our focus on school based mental health programs to reduce anxiety, improve mental health and offer solutions, so our growing youth can exist and function. It would be true to say that our school agenda is changing to adjust with what is now needed in education.

    Do we need to start worrying that this global worldwide mental health problem for our kids, is not a good sign that we are evolving in the right direction?

    Could it be possible that we are actually not evolving at all as this stuff is not giving us any true answers?

    Do we need to go Back to Basics and see where our parenting skills are at and start with a dose of real raw honesty?

    Could it be possible that we have this global mental health issue with children who then become teens and then become our young adults BECAUSE there are very few true role models out there?

    Could it be possible that we each need to take RESPONSIBILITY for how we are choosing to live that may inspire or influence a youngster?

    Could it be possible that our schools cannot cope with mental health programs on top of their current workload and no one is really listening?

    Could it be possible that something is seriously wrong with our education as it is – what we call our current Intelligence?

    Could it be possible we need a common sense Intelligence approach now going forward, if we are going to nail this?

    Could it be possible that we need to bring in good old fashioned simple stuff that works – like going to bed early, every single day no matter what? AND eat your greens?

    My question to the world is – WHY are we not looking at the obvious here and joining the dots?

    We all know WHY our children are suffering with ill mental health and are we ready to do our bit?

    Is it high time we met our children for who they truly are and gave them the time and space they deserve to feel that connection?

    Could it be that simple?

    1. “Could it be possible that something is seriously wrong with our education as it is – what we call our current Intelligence?”

      I was talking to a friend’s husband the other day and he was sharing how it feels like they are going through life in a ‘ball of stress’.

      Their summer has been filled with tutoring for the 11 plus and their kids are limping into the new school year, terrified of the test in a few weeks.

      He believes his older son left school at 18 depressed and has ‘recovered’ during a gap year. He says it’s because ‘we push them too hard’. He said his son saw ‘the real world’ on his gap year and got some much needed perspective on life. Perspective he didn’t get in the school system or from them.

      Then my youngest who is 5, 2 days into the new school year, told me yesterday ‘school doesn’t teach you about what’s important …’

      What on earth are we doing with our education?

      Are we seeing what’s going on? Are we listening to our children?

      Is it time for a rethink about what’s important?

  14. I recently came across a letter written by a judge to a young person at the centre of a custody dispute in the UK.

    Mr Justice Peter Jackson takes the time and care to deliver his decision to the 14-year old, rather than to his parents. His decision is sensitive and he writes with honesty, empathy, respect and insight.

    I wonder how many young people receive that sort of respect day to day, not least from someone in ‘authority’.

    I wonder how many feel heard and seen.

    I wonder how many are told the truths they need to hear, lovingly and respectfully so.

    In my book, this judgment sets the standard, and it’s one to which we should all aspire.

  15. I was walking behind 2 young teenage girls yesterday after school kicked out.

    They were together but talking into their separate phones. There were lots of other kids around and you could feel a ‘look at me’ vibe.

    After a pause, one said to the other ‘who are you speaking to?’. The other said ‘noone, you?’.

    So they were pretending to talk into their phones. Pretending, to be cool.

    It felt sad to see that. Sad that these 2 awesome young humans were acting something out to fit in or get noticed.

    What else do they act out? What else will they do to get noticed?

    And yet that’s how it is for our youth. I remember doing the same myself – putting on a show, wanting to be cool. Many poor decisions came from that place.

    Where does this start, this ‘wanting to be cool’? And what is the antidote?

    How can we support the young people around us so that they can drop the facade and just BE?

    What if the answer is right here in this blog?

  16. I was walking past a playground and noticed some young children playing amongst themselves and felt the realness of the situation.

    They really were just being themselves, no performing. Just naturally living where they were. Pure joy!

    I have been feeling the devastation of having to give up on this realness when I was a child. I felt l had to perform to fit into the world. And this is how l have lived my life until now.

    With support from Simple Living Global l am changing this old pattern, and this is allowing that joy to surface again.

    Children are born with a natural wisdom of how to be in the world. This needs to be honored. This is what we see in young children that makes us smile when we see them playing there life.

    If we take true responsibility for how we live our individual lives, our bodies naturally know how to cope with life. We all have this wisdom.

    We need to live like that so our children can get confirmation that what they feel is the truth. That that is the way to
    live. Just be themselves

  17. In the news today – “Study reveals hospital care costs for people who self-harm amount to estimated £162 million each year” – “Self-harm by intentional poisoning or self-injury is a very common reason for presentation to hospital, especially in young people.” –

    it really makes you wonder how bad things are going to get – why is it there is so much self harm going on in the world today?


    The video here tells us that 90% of the gaming addicts are young male teenagers.

    Do we as an individual, a community or a country ever stop long enough to question this or even talk about it?

    What on earth is going on with our boys when they are young children, that leads them to check out in front of a screen?

    What is screen time giving them that real life is not?
    Did the addiction go unnoticed for many years well before we clocked it?
    Have we all taken this seriously as this problem is not going away?
    WHY are we allowing this to continue on our watch?
    Do we each have a hand in this and its not someone else’s problem?
    Do we want to do something but have no idea where to start?
    Do we think talking about it is simply not enough so we don’t bother?
    Have we taken a moment to feel the enormity of the issue here being presented?

    90% are of a certain age group and gender.
    HELLO HELLO – can we join the dots and can we put our common sense hat on OR are we ok hanging around for the next research and next study to confirm what we already know, as it’s going on in our homes, our street and in our world everywhere.

    This rise in gaming addiction is not going away and let’s not fool ourselves because the video link shows one country.

    We could all start with reading the blog on this website about Video Games – see link

  19. A professor of psychology at a US university has done a comprehensive study on teenagers and found that they are taking longer to ‘engage in the both the pleasures and responsibilities of adulthood’, compared to previous generations.

    So today’s 18 year olds are living more like 15 year olds once did.

    Examples include delay getting jobs, driving and dating, as well as putting off ‘risky’ behaviours such as drinking: a so called ‘slow life strategy’.

    This is apparently having a number of impacts, for example independence and capability issues when arriving at college.

    The professor suspects the internet is a major cause, as young people are online instead of out there engaging in the world.

    Another factor is considered to be ‘helicopter parenting’, where parents aren’t giving their kids space and responsibility.

    Will we take note here and study what is going on for our future generation?

    Perhaps we can start by asking the young people around us what it is like for them.

    1. This study made me reflect on my own youth and how life was for me, aged 18.

      I realise the work my brother and I were consistently encouraged (and expected) to do growing up – both in the family home and businesses – had a massive influence.

      It gave me a sense of both capability and service.

      I could take care of myself and our home, prepare meals, travel easily alone, contribute to a family, a business and a community, understand commerce, manage money, connect with anyone from any walk of life, see what needed to be done and take the initiative/get on with it accordingly.

      And I knew that work and helping others was as important as play. And in fact that they are often one and the same.

      What a gift to give your children.

  20. More on the capability of our youth.

    A UK university has established that uni students of today are super-tech savvy, but don’t have the basics when it comes to the practical things in life

    Many have never paid a bill or washed their own clothes or changed a light bulb.

    Is this a trend worth looking at?

  21. Kids as young as 12 are being sold knives over the counter in the U.K.

    It is illegal to sell a knife to anyone under 18.

    Knife crime is a big deal in London. 15 kids have been knifed to death this year alone. One was 15 years old.

    What is going on for our youth that knife crime is not only a reality, but a trend?

    Shouldn’t a single death be enough to have us all horrified and working night and day to address this?

    Why do we have shops turning a blind eye?

    Reading about this more is certainly waking me up to what is going on and looking at what I can do to help turn the tide.

  22. More on youth knife crime.

    The Met Police has announced that in the last 5 years, the number of kids carrying knives into school has doubled and knife crime in schools is soaring.

    299 students were found carrying knives last year. There were 85 knife offences.

    Studies show some kids feel afraid and think knives will protect them (although the opposite has been shown to be true). Others carry a knife as a status thing.

    If any parent heard about a child carrying a knife at their kids’ school, wouldn’t that be a major 911 moment? Wouldn’t there be an absolute uprising to address it?

    And if that is true, why isn’t there an uprising if it happens somewhere else? Do we not see it as our problem?

    Do we not all have a responsibility here?

  23. A friend was telling me of a 1st grade teacher that took her class outside to pick up trash around there classroom. The teacher was noticing that some of the children did not know the difference between trash and leaves.

    This astounded me at first, l just assumed that children naturally knew the difference between leaves and trash. I do not remember telling my children this.

    So what is going on here? Are our children losing a natural knowing of the world that they are born with or are we educating them in a way that limits there perception of the world?

    Children (and adults too) really only truly learn by refection. Experiencing life, living life. Reading about or learning about life through a computer is a very limiting. You can never learn how to ride a bicycle by reading a book.

    Our greatest tool for parenting our children is how we live our life. This blog is presenting some of the issues that our children are dealing with. Is it possible that the reason our children are struggling is because they do not see any role models that are getting it right?

    Simple Living Global’s Back to Basics program has supported me in living in a way that has tuned my life around. It is a true way of living that is simple and just makes sense.

    This is what our children need to see in their world, adults taking responsibility for their own lives. We are born with a natural ability to live life, we need to support our children to hold on to this way, in a world that does not support them to just be themselves.

  24. Metro -19th September 2017

    The paper reported that a study by researchers at San Diego State University, published in the journal Child Development, has revealed that fewer teenagers are taking part in adult activities like getting a job, drinking, driving, going out without their parents and smoking than in previous decades.

    The researchers believe that this could be linked to spending too long online to get involved in other activities.

    So the question arises –

    What is going on for our Youth of today?

    Whilst it is not a bad thing that less are taking part in drinking and smoking which are deeply harmfull acts to the human body, would we be wise to look deeper and contemplate the fact that today’s Youth are different to their predecessors and what if this is not actually a bad thing?

    What if accepting this fact would mean that we acknowledge that they are much more sensitive and with that they need to be nurtured and taken care of in a way that is different to the way we’ve done it in the past?

    What if their sensitivity and the resulting difficulty in dealing with life is the reason why our Youth are so hooked on online activities?

    What if it is us as adults that need to adopt a different approach to raising our Youth so that we can truly support them?

  25. What happens to our children when they switch from –
    Everything is possible to Uncertainty in life?

    Two very different ways to live.

    You can see it in young children, they look at life as –
    Whats next? Bring it on! I am ready for anything!

    Then something happens and rather than looking at life as infinite possibilities, they contract.

    I am remembering and feeling that time in my life.

    I decided that l was not enough and l needed to perform in order to get by in life. I changed my behavior to fit in.

    It was giving up on myself. Something that took a lot of honesty to admit.

    This is what is happening to our youth and has happened to many adults.

    But by me really asking for the Truth and support from Simple Living Global, l am feeling and healing this devastation allowing me to remember the feeling that everything is possible.

    It is everybody’s responsibility to heal these deep hurts and show our children another way to be in the world.

    That is the greatest gift we can give our children.

  26. A secondary teacher in the UK has shared her observations of the teens she teaches and their attitudes towards themselves and sex.

    It’s a pretty tragic picture.

    She sees teenage girls measure their self worth by whether boys want nude pictures or sexual favours from them. She sees them so sold out to this that they don’t realise they are simply being used – ‘like it’s an honour that they’re chosen’.

    She feels they are completely disconnected with what it means to honour your body and that they have a choice.

    She says she doesn’t know how this happened, but that it’s everywhere – that they are “an infected generation that no longer sees the gravitas of sex”.

    1. This teacher also has observations about sex education and how it needs much more focus and care and to evolve beyond its current focus on contraception.

      She says it needs to be about ‘loving meaningful relationships or about consent’.

      In the absence of this focus in society, in homes, in schools, we are ‘setting [kids] up to go on porn sites to learn about sex’.

      Do we really know what’s going on for our youth?

      Do we think about the part we play in this and how we can help?

      1. I was reflecting on this further with my husband and on how culture plays such a massive part – not least the music industry.

        Pop and rap music is awash with abusive and objectifying content, in particular about women.

        If that music seeds into our every day and it becomes normal to listen to it, wont the messages inside it start to influence?

        It feels like there’s a big opportunity here to bring a deeper level of discernment about what we’re really buying in to, even with something as simple as selecting our radio station.

  27. I read a couple of different articles this week about youth and sex. One thing was mentioned in both and stood out.

    Access to porn has increased to such a degree that our youth are judging both how sex should be and how they should look, based on what they seen in porn.

    In particular, teenage boys (certainly those in the UK), believe that teenage girls should have no pubic hair. This is because porn actresses are fully waxed. Many boys consider it ‘disgusting’ if a girl does not get rid of her pubic hair and if they have an encounter where that is the case, bullying and cyber abuse are common for the girl.

    The girls are only too aware of this and judge themselves accordingly.

    These are kids 13+ years old.

  28. I was noticing a person who loves to be around children. She volunteers to babysit and help children with schoolwork. A very important thing to do.

    But she did not seem to be a happy person, when she was not around children. It seemed like children was her life.

    Her intentions were right, but was she really helping these children in way she wanted?

    When we do anything in this world it is important to ask what our intentions are and to be honest about it as best we can.

    Children are incredibly perceptive and they can feel exactly what is going on all around them.

    This is true of everyone.

    Understanding this and that we are responsible for everything that we do and are is what humanity has forgotten.

    Is it possible that true responsibility is the answer to all of our worlds problems?

  29. There is a new craze in our youth of them daring each other to ‘go missing’. It’s called the ’48 Hour Challenge’.

    They receive ‘points’ from their friends for social media mentions while they are missing, such as frantic appeals from family and friends to find them.

    One mum described how the teens ‘playing’ this game are not taking the risks seriously and need a wake up call, though she is worried what that might be.

    In another challenge, kids challenge each other to hold salt and ice together in their fist for as long as possible. Some have suffered 3rd degree burns as a result.

    Why are our youth doing these things?

    Is there something they are not getting that means they turn to increasingly risky behaviours and an obsession with social media hits?

    Is it a wake up call they need or something simpler, more fundamental and closer to home – communication and connection – as this blog is presenting?

  30. Yesterday I attended a policy consultation group with two major UK charities that deal with homelessness

    The consultation was on how to end Youth Homelessness

    The purpose of the group was to bring on the ground professionals together to share what we see the problems are and what things could be put in place to address some of the issues.

    No matter which sector we worked for – public, private or voluntary we were all citing the same things as issues.

    Two things that stuck out to me were the call for more support for our Youth in the form of life skills educational training and just having more people offering our Youth support on a one to one basis.

    I know as a teenager I would have benefitted from having more support and guidance from real role models particularly on how to deal with life – not just the practicalities but how to deal with emotions and feelings.

    I am very pleased that I attended this group and have been able to contribute to a very important document that will go to Central Government.

    I know that by being there and having the willingness to speak up I am also doing my bit in contributing to what I see that our Youth need.

    I could have quite comfortably sat at my desk and saved the hour long journey to the event but that really does not evolve us.

    What our Youth need are people who are willing to go the extra mile and go beyond the tick box of what our jobs are calling for.

    People that respond to the call of what is needed.

  31. When people go into year 6 at school, they begin to bully each other more and do more stuff that is bad.

    In year 6 you can also have a phone at school. This means they can also do bad things on their phones to each other.

    I see how many times they go on their phones and it is a lot. I see this at after school club and before school club.

  32. The year 6 children at my school should stop going on their phones because you can tell they don’t feel good when they are on their phones.

    And also they need to stop brining phones into school because then they would stop doing bad things to each other on their phones and they would talk to each other more.

  33. I read in the Metro on 9th October 2017 (pages 1 and 4) about sexual abuse in UK primary schools.

    Reports on sexual offences by under 10s more than doubled in a year, from 204 to 456 reported.

    Girls were the biggest targets and in one case a 6 year old was being repeatedly digitally assaulted in the playground.

    The police are recommending to parents in such cases that they move house, saying there is little they can do when a child is below the age of criminal responsibility.

    A head teacher has put this trend down to the access young people have to inappropriate material:

    “It’s not just pornography – it’s dating sights, it’s social media and a lot of that content normalises negative attitudes and negative behaviours.”

    If we see this happening to our under 10s, what does this say about the bigger picture of which they are a part?

    University of North Carolina

    Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?

    Parents, therapists and schools are struggling to figure out whether helping anxious teenagers means protecting them or pushing them to face their fears.

    This article rang true for me in school. I did not have the level of anxiety that the children in this article have, but I knew something was wrong, and did not know how to deal with it. I just thought that was the way it was.

    I needed someone to understand what was going on. When I was feeling all this stuff and I saw no answers, I felt lost. I have lived like this most of my life. Just covering up these feelings with working hard and eventually drugs and alcohol.

    Simple Living Global has supported me to understand what was going on and the Back to Basics program has supported my body, so that I do not feel overwhelmed by life.

    Our bodies naturally know how to deal with life, but I had no role models of that to see, when I was growing up.

    We need to be the role models for the children in our world. Taking true care of ourselves is the way to do that.

  35. Thank you Jennifer. Yes I also read this news article in the Metro and was quite shocked at what I was reading.

    The article also points out that child on child sex abuse has increased by 71% in the last four years.

    Numbers rose from 4,603 reports in 2013-14 to 7,866 in the 12 months up to the end of March 2017.

    In 74% of cases the police took no action.

    The BBC Panorama programme had one girl tell them:

    ‘It’s not what actually happens that has the worst effect on you, it’s what comes after it. It’s the being disbelieved – it’s the people failing you.’

    Clearly a sense of mistrust is happening from children to adults when what they are telling us is not taken seriously.

    We have to ask – what has been going on in the last four years for figures to have risen exponentially?

    Surely things are not right and we have a responsibility to earnestly dig deeper and ask more questions if our children, the adults of our future, have any chance of leading healthy and enriching lives?

    If we don’t we cannot complain about what then follows.

  36. I was walking behind some teenage girls after school drop off yesterday. It was a freezing morning. They were wearing short skirts with bare legs. One had no jacket – just a short-sleeved t-shirt on top.

    More girls crossed over – more bare legs.

    What is going on here? Why are these young women dressing for a look and not the weather? How are their bodies feeling on these cold days?

    Do their parents talk to them about this?

    I remember the pressure to look good at school. Conscious of your hair and length of your skirt and of what people think. Wanting to fit in.

    I wonder what would happen if they were supported to just walk the walk – to know they are enough and do it their own way.

  37. Nature is important to children at school. Especially in the playground.

    At my school we only have 2 trees and the rest is just ground and dirt. If we had more trees and more nature we would feel better and more at home and calmer and less polluted.

    In places with lots of trees you can concentrate very well.

  38. In the playground it feels like people are saying “I’m the best” and “I’m really crazy” over and over because they are running around like a maniac.

    It feels bad.

    It would feel lovely if everyone was being quiet or just talking but not running around like a maniac and shouting.

    If you scream in the playground you should get a detention.

  39. I am understanding what the ” terrible twos” and ” juvenile delinquents” are all about.

    It is child or teen rebelling against what they see and feel in the world, something is wrong and they are expressing it, the best way they know how.

    Society feels that this behavior is wrong or something that we have to just deal with, but actually it is a message from our children that something is not working . The children that have terrible twos or are delinquents are actually being more truthful.

    That is what is going on with our youth today. The extreme behavior is because they feel nobody is listening to them. They are crying out for help.

    What will it take for the grown ups to listen?

  40. I was talking to a grandad yesterday about how he made sure all his kids had Saturday jobs.

    He said it helped them understand their responsibility to work and the value of money. He says they are caring people now and have no airs and graces about doing what needs to be done.

    Then today I read a BBC news snippet about how the number of school children with a part-time job has fallen by a fifth in the past five years.

    Apparently the pressures of academic achievement at school are taking a toll. The decline of the paper round is also cited.

    Have we considered the increase in focus and purpose that could come with young people taking a Saturday job?

    Have we considered that ‘success’ might look different to what we expect?

    Have we considered that hours of study may be far less productive than we might think?

  41. There is a magazine for kids that is about dinosaurs. Not only that, but it has 5 reasons why dinosaurs are amazing. It also has cartoons that are horrible. I haven’t read it but I have looked at it.

    The cartoons are horrible. One of them is crazy and it makes you feel crazy when you look at it. It shows dinosaurs fighting and there is one who misses his girlfriend and he is sad.

    When children read this they think ‘that’s cool’ even though it is rubbish.

  42. I think teachers don’t like us.

    They smile when they give us orders and when they clap. I think they are doing it because we are people they don’t like.

    There is no joy. They enjoy it when we do what they say.

  43. South China Morning Post – 4 July 2017

    70% Hong Kong pupils say everything is wrong in their lives. The study found that the unhappiest spend more time online and suffer cyberbullying. This in turn caused some to react aggressively themselves online. Others suffered deep depression.

    The study also found that the most common form of cyberbullying among secondary school pupils was the modification of images for mockery. Among primary pupils it was intense verbal attacks.

    A relatively strong correlation was observed between levels of depression and reactive aggression.

    “It shows unhappy students struggle in the face of bullying. Some may turn more inward and depressed, some may turn around and become victim bullies.”
    Professor Dennis Wong

    With one social worker for every 700 to 800 teenagers it is clear that things are not going to get better, so what is the answer?
    Are our short term or long term solutions going to cut it?

    Do we need to look at another approach or another way?
    How are we going to get to the root cause, as this is serious?
    Is it because our kids are spending too much time online?

    Could we find out WHY our children want to be online more than offline?
    What is going on for them that they have found this way of living comfortable?
    Can we start by being honest and asking questions and keep asking questions?
    Can we finger point and blame the rise in social media or do we have a hand in this?

    Are we as parents and guardians being real role models, or are we too busy with our own screen time and our kids just think that it’s ok to do the same?

    Are we willing to take a serious look at what it is here that we have created by our own demands?

    Could it be possible that our young people need connection in their lives as they grow up and if this is not available in their home life then they find it online?

    Could it be possible that spending excess time online is what is causing the cyberbullying and all other online abuse, as it seems like a licence to do whatever we want because there is very little policing and we know we can get away with it?

    This is about Hong Kong, but we could say it’s going on everywhere in our world. Our youth are our future adult generations.

    How serious is it when we think about the future of this world and what is it we as individuals can do now to ensure that the tides do turn and there is real change?

  44. There was something quite striking about the end of year play at my children’s school this year – an absence of control.

    I have been to other end of year plays and in particular ones at their old – paying – school. The plays always seemed to me to be more about the school show-casing to the parents – a ‘look, you are really getting your money’s worth here, see what we can get your kids to do’ undertone.

    It would make me sad to see that and you could feel the pressure on the kids to perform.

    The vibe at this current school was totally different.

    The teachers had obviously worked hard to support the kids with their production, but that’s how it felt – like it was the kids’ production. There were no teachers directing, just the kids moving bits of (home made, super-low production value) set about and reminding each other when they forgot their lines.

    There was a sense of the children having decided what they wanted to do, rather being told what to do or it being about the chosen few kids with the best parts.

    It was a totally ragtag, fun affair and you could see the kids enjoyed expressing themselves.

    I have often wondered what the point of it all is – all that effort on the school play, when the kids are tired at the end of the year. It is not something, as a parent, I need. But this actually made sense.

    The kids had worked hard together, supported one another, and they were celebrating. And so were we.

  45. Reported in the Week (p.22, 16 December 2017) that statistics from NHS Digital show that 1 in 10 teenage girls in England were referred to specialist mental health services in the last 12 months, along with a smaller portion of teenage boys.

    Studies also show a 68% increase in the rate of self harm in teenage girls between 2011 and 2014 and that 25% report symptoms of depression.

    According to the Children’s Commissioner, the number of children aged 9 and under receiving psychiatric treatment has increased by 31% in a year, with 60,000 appointments in 2016 to 2017.

    It says experts have warned that services are ‘creaking under the strain’ and many children are not getting the support they need.

    – 1 in 10 girls with mental health issues.
    – A 68% increase in self harm.
    – 60,000 psychiatric appointments for kids under 10 years old.
    – Services unable to cope.

    This is completely off the chart.

    How bad will it need to get before we declare a humanitarian crisis? 1 in 5? 1 in 3? Every child suffering?

    And why are we not able to support these kids?

    Could it be we are not yet understanding what is really going on?

    Could this be the issue that wakes us up to another way – one so wisely presented by this blog?

  46. A friend was shouted at on the street today after asking a group of school kids if she could get by them on the pavement.

    One of them started it as she walked away and then they all followed.

    They shouted some pretty horrible things and she was surprised by how easily the words came to them.

    It really affected her.

    What if this readiness to spit out abuse comes from it being a normal, everyday thing?

    It got me thinking of the impact of cyber abuse and how much it is influencing everyday life, especially for our youth.

    What if these young people see people shouting abuse at each other online all the time so face to face is going to become no different?

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