NOTE – PLEASE READ OUR INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY BLOG 2016
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. (1)
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.
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 –
21.7% – prevalence higher among females
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)
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)
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 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.
UK – Samaritans available 24 hours
Tel: 116 123
Childline – for children and young people
Tel: 0800 1111
USA – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Check International Association for Suicide Prevention Resources on Crisis Centers
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(18) (2017, April 6). Higher Death Rate Among Youth with First Episode Psychosis. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Retrieved August 6, 2017 from
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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.
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…
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.
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?
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.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-40920488 – 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.
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?
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.
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 – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/teenagers-exam-stress-gcse-a-levels-numbers-rise-mental-health-a7896011.html
“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?
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.
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.
An article in ‘ourstyle.life’ 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?
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?
“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?
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.
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?
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
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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”.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
Thank you JS. 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.
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.
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?
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?
Thank you for sharing this comment JS.
I felt to talk also about this topic as I know that work has equipped me with many skills as an adult and has helped me to commit to life and so it is something that I deeply value – whether it is paid or unpaid.
It has also exposed me to the realities of life and circumstances that in my everyday life I would not see. It keeps me connected to humanity so that I can see what is going on for others and not just those that I am close to.
On 31st March 2018 – Daily Mail also reported on this topic with the following headline
‘Teens need Saturday jobs to learn about work says minister’
UK Work and Pension Secretary Esther Mc Vey is quoted as saying:
‘Teenagers should be encouraged to take jobs on Saturdays and after school so that they are prepared for the workplace’.
There has been a 60% reduction in the number of young people who now work on a Saturday and the cause has been put down to a greater focus on academic study.
Her comments are said to have come after research stated that British workers are less hard working than European counterparts.
Have we considered that our youth may not necessarily be the same as the older generation and so they may need to be prepared from a young age for work and this maybe more than just chores.
Is it time that we started to talk to our youth about what work is about and prepare them for all aspects of it and not just the physical action of completing tasks but also preparing them with how to deal with difficult situations, speak up, take the lead and how to interact with others but remain themselves so they are not just doing things to fit in.
I have a strong work ethic but I know that I would have benefitted from this guidance growing up.
I was recently speaking with a young man aged 15 who shared how school really doesn’t prepare us for real life. I am 40 and we were both asking for example, how algebra assists with everyday life. I haven’t used it for 24 years so for me what was the point of learning all of those formulas?
I use our ages as an example as in 25 years we can see that our education systems have not developed and the same old stuff is being taught.
So how are we really evolving our Youth?
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?
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.
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?
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?
This blog has brought up feelings I had in school.
“Why can’t they just let me be myself?”
I didn’t know energy drinks were a thing for our youth.
I thought energy drinks were for stressed workers, sports people and late night clubbers.
I remember a boy from my school days ending up in hospital on dialysis after going to a vodka-energy drink party, due to the chemicals in there.
So what is going on for our youth that they are turning to these drinks?
Are they drinking then because they are cool or because they are tired or perhaps in the absence of e.g. a warm breakfast?
And for any of those reasons, why are those kids in that situation?
It feels like much more support is needed for our youth. As a matter of priority.
Daily Mail – 22nd February 2018
News article on a 12 year old girl who self-harms.
Her father says – “It’s frustrating because x tries her best. But, for whatever reason what goes on inside her head is stronger than she is.”
NHS state a 68% increase in self-harm related hospital admissions in the past 10 years.
The article also says that ‘Middle class girls are particularly at risk as the pressure to be popular and achieve academically can mean they turn to self-harm as a valve to release pressure.’
A psychologist is quoted in the article as saying “these days, young girls are under crippling pressure.”
With the case of the 12 year old the parents say they have had to hide knives and scissors, but still find things like sharp plastic and razor blades hidden in their daughter’s teddy bear.
Dr. Hayley Van Zwanenberg from the Priory Group has stated that “There is evidence to show that, if a young person is struggling with emotional issues and they spend 3 hours or more on screens each day, this is likely to increase those difficulties.”
She also is quoted as saying “Often young people don’t get enough sleep due to being on devices and never switch off from social media. All this can impact negatively on emotional state in vulnerable young people.”
Some young people can spend up to a year as inpatients in psychiatric hospitals following self-harm and suicide attempts.
In a poll by 4 mental health support groups of nearly 4,000 young people who had self-harmed 25% said bullying was the main reason.
With cyber-abuse rife and the potential for this not to have been included in the above figures, the numbers will surely be much higher.
This is all deeply concerning as our Youth will be our future adults and if so many are having difficulties with their mental health, what type of adults will they grow up to be? How will they be able to deal with adulthood?
We have to be honest that things for our Youth are not great and they do not really have real role models that can show them a truly healthy way to live, because if we are honest most adults are also struggling with their own mental health.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are estimated to turn away 25% of children referred for treatment. So we know that even our services are struggling to provide real support for these kids, so where do they go?
What needs to change?
Could the following blogs and all the blogs on this website by Simple Living Global support parents and our Youth to know that there is another way?
Talking to a head teacher yesterday, he told me about a new apps designed to hide porn on your phone.
They appear as a fully functioning calculator, but behind that sits a storage facility for video and photos. So you can take your content out of your primary photos and hide it inside the app and you can take photos and video in a way that stores it directly in the app so it never gets stored to your phone.
So if your parents or teachers etc look on your phone, they just see a calculator.
These apps have been specifically designed for people who want to hide porn, selfie porn and sexting content and they are apparently hugely popular with teens.
What is going on that our youth are wanting and using these apps?
As parents and those in the community, do we need to wake up to this situation as it is getting out of control?
Sitting next to 2 teenage girls yesterday on the train. Their entire interaction was around their phones.
Taking and sending selfies. Touching up photos. Checking their social media profile.
Asking the phone’s personal assistant if their voices were sexy or if they sounded too innocent.
Their movements were flighty and excitable, lots of grabbing of phones off one another and screeching at the possibility of having posted something too soon.
These 2 vibrant young women, entirely focused on the outer.
It felt like they were lost in this online world, where nothing is real.
I wonder for how many young people this is their reality. And I wonder what it will be like for them as adults. This is the next generation of our workforce and parents – so the question is also – what will be like for all of us?
I saw sad scene on the beach this week.
It was a blustery day. I had a hat on and gloves for a walk.
2 girls in their young teens were taking photos of each other. They were posing in their bikinis in staged positions. Breasts pushed together with crossed forearms. Heads angled to the side, just so.
The choreography was well practiced. They spent at least 45 minutes there shivering, smiling coyly at the camera phone, totally un-selfconscious, taking these shots, which were clearly for social media.
What on Earth is going on if these young girls from a small town off the beaten track in Spain are spending their time this way – having this as their priority?
What was perhaps more confronting than this scene alone, was that after they had finished they ran over to their parents who were waiting for them huddled in coats up the beach.
I wonder what was going through their parents’ heads watching this happen. Do they think it is ‘normal’ behaviour these days? Do they consider what is happening for their daughters that they want to take these photos and presumably share them online for likes? And that they are prepared to freeze to get the right shots?
And what about the rest of us? Do we consider why this is happening for our youth?
Do we consider on what they are modelling this behaviour? What messages are they receiving about how to behave and what is important – from fashion magazines and advertising and TV and social media and beyond? And from those around them.
For as long as we keep buying into all this by consuming it, our youth will be the collateral damage.
It feels to me we are ruining them.
Talking to a local woman this week. She was troubled with worry for her teenage son.
He is 15 years old and 6 foot 1. She said this puts him in the exact target category for the youth and gang violence that is rife in South London.
His friends had gone to the cinema in Brixton last week and got mugged. She feels it is only a question of time until something like that or much worse happens to him.
We talked about why this is the current reality and the societal and economic factors that play in.
We have an entire generation of teenagers living with this in the UK today.
If just one teenager was experiencing this, that would be 1 too many.
Talking to a mother of a 12 year old girl today about the trials and tribulations of parenting in the modern era.
She shared the damaging impact she sees social media has on her daughter and the complex relationship with school and school friends. One day all is well, the next day despondency.
The mum works in mental health and and said she can see the downward spiral for many kids at this age.
She does her best to support her daughter and bring her a worldly perspective and sense of her responsibilities for the future, to help her see beyond the smallness of the school playground environment.
She sometimes takes her along with her to work so she can see those environments and what having a job looks like.
It struck me that the answers to many of the challenges of our youth – feeling disenfranchised, self-criticism and comparison – could be found in exposure to real life stuff like getting a job and seeing the bigger things we need to address as a society.
Exposing our kids to these realities seems like a great place to focus as we raise them – to help them understand there is more to life than what they experience at school (however hard that may be) and that their rich and purposeful contribution in life is much needed. They can make a difference.
We had to stop fast in the car yesterday for a young woman who stepped into the main road with her headphones on.
She walked across like she was on a pedestrian crossing, with right of way. She didn’t even hesitate.
She looked towards us, oblivious, apathetic as to our presence.
How could she be so checked out and what is it showing us when we see this?
Talking yesterday to a father of a 15 year old girl.
He said she is captain of her school rowing crew and trains a huge amount. He was very proud of her for this.
He said it keeps her off social media and out of trouble and it will look good on her cv when she is trying to distinguish herself from all the other high-achieving young people, when she comes to look for a job.
It made me reflect on where we are at as a society that this is how we see success. Our teens ‘out of trouble’ and striving for achievement.
And I’m wondering what we would be doing if we flipped that round and focused not on the bad-ness to avoid or the competition to beat, but on the ‘what can we bring’ side of things.
What could our teens be doing if we got them involved in the community, for example?
And for them to be interested in that, what do us parents and adults need to be doing differently for there to be role models to inspire?
In response to your questions here JS – this is my take as a responsible elder in the community.
I know beyond any doubt that our kids are suffering and our world seems to be geared to not support them to BE who they truly are.
Once upon a time, life was very basic and simple and these days it is clearly not.
We are no longer really interested in truly engaging with others and the majority of our youth would rather not when it comes to older people.
There seems to be a general thread running through the blogs on this website about CONNECTION and what that means to each of us and how it can support us.
Those of us who do know or are aware have a RESPONSIBILITY to live and inspire others, not by shouting from the rooftops or any form of ra ra but simply GETTING ON WITH IT.
What I mean is that our living way means our kids KNOW there is another way to live and BE on this earth. It does not have to have a plethora of distractions or a drive inside us that pushes our body beyond its natural limits.
As real role models we need to bring in a Truth that we can feel really works and supports us and then live that CONSISTENTLY. It is our COMMITMENT TO LIFE in all areas that will make our youth wake up and know that you cannot just focus on one aspect of life to get what we want and ignore other parts that are just as important.
That means they need to take RESPONSIBILITY for making their bed every single day and tidying up as important as going to school.
Sounds boring to most of our younger generations but WHAT IF this BACK TO BASICS is the answer as let’s be honest – nothing else seems to be working.
On a side note – UK Care Minister is saying all care homes should have wi-fi so grandchildren will turn up.
I posted the story on Twitter and the picture is 3 kids on their iPads with not a grandparent in sight.
My question is – what message does this give out to the world and are we on the front foot with our solutions?
This blog and this website are saying there is more we need to address and take note of as SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.
Daily Mail – 9 June 2018
25% of millennials think it is normal to be unhappy and depressed in older age.
2 in 5 age 18 – 24 think that dementia is inevitable in later life.
Researchers called for policy changes to create a more positive outlook on ageing.
Suggestions included ending the term ‘anti-ageing’ in cosmetics and merging nurseries and care homes to promote integration between generations.
Have we stopped long enough to ask WHY do our millennials have such a negative outlook?
Where is this coming from and what is being fed into their minds to come up with this?
Are they looking around for real role models, who they cannot seem to find, who may not be ageing in this negative way?
Next – will our policymakers and those in power who call the shots, study the impact of what it might mean to have tiny toddlers in with the ageing population in care homes?
What if those in care are there because they have given up on life and they are not open to young children bringing all their joy to them?
What if this is a great idea but never in reality will it work, simply because there are too many variables to consider and history tells us, we have never managed to get on the front foot about anything that truly benefits everyone in society?
While we wait for the researchers’ suggestions to make their way through the system, would it be wise to ask WHY a generation of young adults are thinking it is normal to be depressed when we get older?
Where have we dropped the bar so low that we accept depression in later life as normal?
In others words, normal is anything the masses do.
BBC News – 21 June 2018
Most people make the greatest use of the NHS at the beginning or at the end of their lives, but UK youth aged 18 – 29 use the accident and emergency (A&E) service a lot representing 20% of all visits in 2016/17.
We might then be asking – what are our youth using A&E for?
Answer: High admissions due to sporting accidents, violent incidents and alcohol-related incidents.
In 2017 – 40,385 18 – 29 year olds in England received treatment for drug problems.
This age group was also more likely to receive help for cannabis use – 2017 there were 11,200 new patients.
The main cause of death now for 20 – 24 year olds is suicide.
Violent crime is the 4th biggest killer of young men.
Young women in England are the most likely to have mental health problems with
25% of 16 – 34 year olds now having a common mental health disorder.
Young adults dominate sexual health services
2017 – 814,479 young adults used face-to-face sexual health services.
Increases in the number of people contracting syphillis and gonorrhoea are raising concerns about changes in sexual practices.
Clearly these statistics speak loudly that our youth are not going well and so the question arises why is this happening and what is our response?
Do we react by giving up on them or do we get our act together and deal with our own issues so that we can be true role models and reflect that it is possible to live life without violence, the need to be recognised and liked, be comfortable in one’s own skin and love ourselves and life.
Is it possible that there is so much more to life, but that our youth have given up as they have not had the role models to reflect to them that there is another way?
Seeing the teens at our local secondary school, there is so much attention paid to the clothes and the look.
It feels like the pressure is huge to be wearing the ‘right’ things.
You can see the self consciousness. Checking how low the waist of the trousers drops. Just so. The slightly jerky movements to keep the clothes in place. The angle of the head and the hair flick.
I remember similar decisions and movements and priorities at that age.
Why do we judge so much by the outer?
Why do we see this first and prioritise it above all?
What role models are there for another way?
What affect does this outer focus have on our youth? And on all of us?
Talking to letting agents this week about the calls they get from young people in their rental properties.
They are ill equipped to deal with life away from the family home for the first time, e.g. on starting university.
In one house of young men in their late teens, early 20s, the toilet had a chain flush and they called up because they could not work out how to flush it. The chain later came unhooked and they incurred a plumber call out fee of £150 to hook it back on.
Students regularly call up about electricity problems when the issue is simply that light bulbs needing changing.
Gas meter keys and using an oven regularly cause confusion.
They say they feel like babysitters, teaching basic life skills these young adults don’t learn at home.
They were struggling to understand what the parents are doing – why they are not teaching their kids these things and preparing them for independent life.
Are we skipping the basics? Taking parenting shortcuts? Is life too stressful? Are priorities in the wrong place?
And the other question for these young adults is: when something happens, why don’t they call Mum or Dad?
Thank you for your comment JS which simply highlights what most of us know and that is the youth of today are not generally equipped with the Basic practical stuff that some of us older people think is just normal.
If we read this blog and the other Youth blog on this website, we can see what ill choices are being made and how parents are not truly raising kids in the good old fashion sense like in the old days.
Yes we have moved on with generation z and millennials but we all know that useful and practical day to day living supports us in having a foundation. It’s like we sit on wisdom that just builds because we have all the basics in place.
In my world, I am surprised how few know how to do laundry and I see it in my launderette with adults, so that explains why their children will not be savvy with things like washing clothes, drying and folding.
When we bypass general basics, we are fostering an ill way of living if you ask me.
It was for this reason that I developed a program called Back to Basics and it is all about simple and easy everyday basic stuff that will take us through life if we keep it going consistently.
There is a Responsibility when it comes to the Basics, but very few value this stuff as our world is so geared with the comfortable stimulations and distractions that take us away from everyday living, which is a joy and not a chore or a bore.
Talking to a mum about her teenage daughter.
Lots of difficult stuff going on. Self worth issues and rebellious behaviour.
Very little communication. Not studying. Lots of ‘attitude’. Dressing provocatively (‘like she is dressing for sex’). Always out with her friends.
She hears about her daughter’s experiences through other people, e.g. if there is a party happening or last week they were mugged for their phones by a gang of boys on a local high street in the middle of the day. The daughter told a neighbour but didn’t tell her mum.
She also talked about the sex stuff she hears about from parents and teachers, e.g. regular use of porn, sexting and also apparently extreme masterbation, including asphyxiation.
She said she is happiest when her daughter is at home, because she knows she is safe.
She says it is like a storm she needs to weather – she believes there is nothing she can do and that this is just how it is for many families these days, particularly single parent families.
How have we arrived in this dire place? Where we can’t reach our teenagers. Where they can’t talk to us. Where their self worth is so low? Where they live in our house but the relationship is functional only?
What impact does all this have on our families and communities and in particular on these young people as they step into adulthood?
How do we hold steady and climb ourselves out of this mess?
Walking past an inner city school today in London.
A fully armed officer was standing centry at the gate, wearing a bullet proof vest. He was nonchalant, like it’s a regular, normal thing.
This was such a jarring sight and made me stop in my tracks.
How have we got to a place where our schools need armed police?
Do we realise this is happening?
What impact is it having on the kids at the school? On their families?
Do they feel fear? Is their presence comforting?
Are we ok with this?
I, for one, am not.
Talking to a young shop assistant this week about his move to London.
He was down in London from Birmingham for college. He said he has had a seriously hard time of it so far.
Travel expenses alone are off the chart for him – £5 before he has even earned a penny at his job.
He is paying for his course through a student loan and said he feels the debt piling up, and he has only just got started.
And the loneliness is hard. He knows a few people in London, but with the study and travel and the part time job, he said he was finding it tough.
He has questioned whether it is worth it, but he has started it all now and doesn’t have another direction to go in.
How many of our youth are in similar situations?
Thousands all over the country?
What support do they have away from home?
How are they taking care of themselves amidst the stresses?
What food are they buying/preparing on their tight budgets?
It makes me question both our education system and the infrastructure (or not) that surrounds it.
It also makes me realise how important it is to make time for the young people in our lives.
Community is hugely important – parents can’t do it alone.
Watching a news interview today on knife crime, it highlighted once again how serious this issue is, particularly for our youth.
One young man showed the scars on his body, which were numerous and in various places, from being stabbed 10 times in one incident.
The program mentioned the ripple effect these incidents have, not just on the person that has been stabbed but also on all of the people that know them.
There were parents on the program who have also lost their children due to knife crime.
There was some tension from the panel members towards the police and the police commissioner stated that to deal with this issue we need a collective response and it got me thinking about responsibility and the fact that, whether we have children or not, we are responsible as adults for the way that we conduct and take care of ourselves. That in effect sends out a message to our youth about respect and decency, whether we open our mouths or not and whether we are with them for 5 minutes or a lifetime.
Have we ever thought about the role that we play in the lives of young people?
What if it is time for us to stop the blame game and finger pointing?
What if we turned to look at ourselves and how we each live our lives and ask – are we a real role model for our youth and if we are not, then focus on getting our own act together?
Would this be a wise place to start to deal with this issue?
I have heard a lot recently about the rise in knife crime too in our City and its getting worse.
You make a good point in your comment Shevon about we need to stop the finger pointing as blaming absolves us of any responsibility and in truth, if you ask me, we don’t really learn anything or get to move on.
My take is we need to get to the root of this and ask more questions as to WHY this is happening on our streets. The news tends to focus on the serious stuff but yesterday on the train there was the newspaper saying teenagers being stabbed and ending up in hospital in the few hours immediately after school. This was noted and it got me thinking – SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT
What goes on for them before, during and after school?
What is behind this gang stuff and where will it end?
I even heard on the street talk more than once, that it initiates a gang member when they carry out a stabbing. Sounds utter nonsense and ridiculous – but what if this is really true and does go on?
At a Police Mental Health Awareness Training, I learned a lot more about gang violence and what else goes on that I have never read in the media.
ALL I know right now is our solutions are not working and we need to start young and by that I mean we need to instill in small children about taking deep care of their body, learning how to breathe correctly and express what they feel.
These 3 ingredients would set them up to ensure we have future generations who would be in deep regard of their body and not holding back any emotions because they had permission to say what they feel in any given moment. This in turn would support them to breathe correctly. By that I mean they would learn how to breathe their own breath and to me that is worth more than anything.
From lived experience that is plugging in and connecting to the field, call it the universe, God or whatever you want, but it is a grander vibration that we all have access to equally.
This may all sound way off, whacky or out there but nothing is working, if we are being honest so why not go back to basics, teach something simple and turn education around and upside down?
Carry on the way we are and it will not come as any surprise, things will get worse.
I am certain there is another way and people are stopping and asking more questions.
It is only a matter of time that more will respond to blogs, comments and a website like this which is clear in saying – THERE IS ANOTHER WAY.
Evening Standard – 26 October 2018
On this topic of knife crime London’s Air Ambulance are trialling a blood product in the hope of saving critically injured patients. With the new product, patients with catastrophic bleeding will receive transfusions of the product at the scene, to help form clots.
One of the benefits are – this will help deal with the rising number of stabbing and shooting victims.
In 2017, the first time since it began 30 years ago, the London Air Ambulance service treated more violent crime victims – 560 than people in crashes – 533.
The statistics alone support that this is a very serious issue and we know that it is our youth who are most affected.
It is important that more people are asking questions and discussing this matter to raise awareness.
We can tut and simply say this is terrible and leave it at that, or we can choose to enquire more and go deeper by asking – Why is this happening.
Something clearly is not right as you say Bina.
There has to be Another Way.
This is what I call Citizen journalism – real life stuff on the street so to speak.
On the bus yesterday, I was behind a teenager who was scrolling the phone.
It just so happened I was over his shoulder and could read everything.
My first thing was this young guy did not even flinch and it made me realise he was so consumed in his reading and flicking between screens, I was not of any concern to him.
I also realised this is exactly where I need to be and see what I did see.
It was an eye opener and a wake up call for all of us and not just me.
My job is to report what I could see and it was super ugly.
There were a few threads and what I saw were people chipping in and saying something and it was the language used that we need to know about.
It was thee most vile and filth I have ever read and I would say it has gone to another level.
Yes I know of sexting and other nonsense our youth get up to but this teenager was showing me more. I had to see it for myself, as it would be hard to believe or get my head around it had I not read it with my own eyes. The word God was in there, but used in a disgusting way along with other utter foul rubbish that was just being fed by non stop messaging and of course images.
These social media platforms that we have created, support this kind of communication and I wonder how many realise how seriously dangerous this really is.
Flicking screens there was a different flavour but same stuff and I had seen enough.
What I observed was how absorbed this boy was and sucked in so much that he had no clue what was going on around him.
Question – does this type of reading affect us in anyway?
My take is – it does and there is no getting away from that.
Are we surprised that mental health for our youth has gone to a crisis level like never before and things are getting worse?
Are we going to join the dots and dig deep and ask more questions OR are we just going to accept things and not police our kids and what they do on their phones?
Technology is great but what have we done to abuse it?
What is our part in all of this and even if we don’t have teenagers – what are we going to do about this?
Most of us know our youth are up to no good and looking the other way is not the answer.
It is time for real role models to step up and inspire others that THERE IS ANOTHER WAY?
This website is dedicated and committed to presenting and delivering another way to live, that cuts out and knocks out all the ill we keep creating that harms us and others and our planet and beyond.
The Week – 19 January 2019
52% of sexually active British women aged 17 – 24 say they were not ready when they lost their virginity. 44% of men said the same.
This is very serious. There is so much pressure on our youth to have sex, but have we questioned why we hardly ever allow them to have the space to truly choose from their bodies whether they want to be sexually active or not.
Many give in and go along with it due to the fear of being left out, or seen to be different; scared of being judged as frigid, but what if it is perfectly natural and normal to honour one’s body to not do something if we don’t want to?
Why is this not the norm?
Is this something that we need to bring into our classrooms at school – frank discussions about how to honour ourselves in everything that we do?
What if this were the norm, would it be easy then to say no to having sex before we are ready as we are living in a self-honouring way every day and so the ability to say no is then very natural.
Does this mean there would be a responsibility needed from those teaching these classes, as they would also need to be living in a self-honouring way on a daily basis in order to role model and understand what our kids need?
Taking this further, would it benefit us all – men and women equally, if we all honoured ourselves and respected our bodies and only did things when we truly felt that it was right for us, no matter what anyone else says?
Would our young men have more care and respect for themselves and also for any woman that they are interested in and vice versa?
Is it possible that things don’t have to be as they are with the statistics at the start of this comment and that through choice and commitment to living another way, we can set new standards for our youth?
Talking to a local couple this week about their 14 year old and the challenges of keeping her connected to real life and family.
They said the battle is against virtual realty, where their daughter’s relationships are based entirely on her phone.
She ‘talks’ to her friends but only via text.
The friends gather on social media but not physically.
They spend time together from their bedrooms but not in person.
They say this is how it is for this generation: they feel they have an ‘uphill battle’ against it.
They belligerently get out in nature on weekends for long walks, though their daughter would rather stay in her room.
They keep drawing her into conversation, though she would rather stay ‘mute’.
And why would she want anything else?
If most of what she is surrounded by tells her this is normal.
If conversation is not her habit because it’s not a thing any more.
If life doesn’t present purpose and joy for her.
There is much we can do to change this by our own living way.
To keep connecting and not accepting as ‘normal’ things that don’t feel true.
They are only normal if we make and accept them so.
At the bus stop yesterday, I met 2 young school girls in uniform where they yank up the skirt and roll it over so its a mini look. Age 13.
The first thing I clocked was both had false eyelashes that then had mascara. This is not new in my town as I have seen it countless times on the bus in the mornings before school starts.
We got talking and one of them asked me if I had children, what I do and when I told them my age, they did not believe it and then asked me more questions about how I live.
In my usual natural style I was able to read them. By that I mean I get a sense of where they are coming from behind the front that they give out to the world.
We talked about confidence and how being honest and real is important for all of us.
I said in my no nonsense manner, there was no need for them to wear false eyelashes to hide their beautifull eyes, which showed me the essence of who they truly were.
They told me that the pressure at school was huge and with social media they are caught in a trap and see no way out.
Then one of them shared how they suffer with depression, sleep and heart problems.
How serious is this when a young teenager shares this with you?
This is real life, real talk and for me this is Citizen Journalism.
I cannot do anything but I can by way of comment on this incredible website say my bit.
The platform that Simple Living Global offers is for me a way to express what I see on my streets and who knows – one day it may just be the ticket someone is looking for, as they are ready to find another way to live and be on earth.
Back to the girls and as the buses were running late I mentioned how my take was that when we commit to life and build a foundation of true self care and get into a rhythm and routine with the daily stuff – consistently, then things start to shift.
Sleep is key as we have to nail this, if we are ever going to go forward in life with the vitality levels that our human body is equipped for to work until our last breath.
Sounds way off or too much but I am living proof of so many who have changed as a result of what has just been presented.
This blog, this comment and this website may not be the flavour of the month for most right now but in the future, I know there will be many seeking another way and bingo here we have a library of over 160 tablets of truth and more to come as the months roll on…
Simple Living Global will go down in history for being on the front foot back in the early 21st century – a blessing the world has yet to realise.
The Guardian – 2nd May 2019
It has now become the norm to read on a daily basis of a young person ending their life by suicide, especially students. This has lead to calls from a coroner for mental health to be destigmatised at universities.
With only 37% of UK students with a mental health issue putting this on their application form or informing their university, it is thought that students are afraid that if they disclose this it will affect their place.
The pressure on our youth is enormous today and if we are honest we really have not equipped them to be able to deal with this.
It is one thing remembering knowledge and theory and being able to recall this for tests and exams, but what about student well-being – do we put this first or after the grade?
Are our youth raised to truly know and feel that they matter 1st and foremost before any grade they can achieve?
Why is it that we have not built a society where we value and put at the top of the equation supporting our children and youth to know who they truly are before we discuss academic attainment or job status?
Why is it not seen as important and could it be possible that because this key ingredient is missing we have rising suicide rates?
Why do we not support our youth to say what they are really feeling about themselves and about life, or would this be too confronting?
If we heard the truth of how they truly felt and we encouraged them to express this would this mean serious change for the rest of us?
Is it possible that many would be more honest about what they are about to study and would choose differently if given permission to be outspoken about their true feelings?
Would it mean that we would all need to be much more honest about what is going on for us, at least with ourselves first if we were sincere about offering any true support to our youth?
This could go easily go on the Citizen Journalism blog just out, but it feels appropriate to put it on Youth as this is what it is about.
In the gym changing room I clocked a teenage school girl on the mobile phone, but looked like it was sulking and in a strop. I say ‘it’ because it sure did not look like who this person really was underneath the attitude.
I said hello and I get the ‘I am pretending I didn’t hear you’ movement, which is so obvious to me and as I don’t play games, I walked up to her to connect and ask her what is going on.
What was clear was something had happened.
Well she was supposed to be in training and arrived 10 minutes late and got told she could not attend. To go home would be pointless because of the distance, so she found herself a hiding place to wait before school opens and go straight there.
We got talking and in my usual style and not mincing my words I told her she went to bed late and looked so exhausted, so this could be the reason she did not make it in time for her training class.
Yep – I was right and as an elder in the community, I do not just stop at that, as to me that would be a waste of an opportunity that has just presented itself.
How on earth can she get to what she wants to be and do with that attitude, moods swings due to the late nights and insomnia and so it goes on and on.
Well she lightened up as I continued to deliver non stop the wisdom I have and then we got to the ‘blame’ topic. Of course it’s everything and then it was the country. It’s this country and where her ancestors come from its different.
I told her to suck it up as God put her here and she better get on with it.
One day if the call is true and she needs to be in her hot country where she thinks her roots are, she will know, but for now a reality check is needed.
Back to the sleep and I talked about this website and she was open and wanted more, so she got the business card with the information and the way she placed it inside her wallet said a lot. It actually spoke volumes to me and at which point enough had been said and I left.
This young girl woke up and possibly for the first time as I would not play ball with her. Instead I laid it out and it started with the fact that there are no games to play so let’s get real and honest instead of sulking and blaming.
She is not related to me and yet I felt the responsibility to open my mouth and express what I know could possibly support her in that moment to not go deeper into that mind of hers which I could tell was playing havoc. She was hurt and upset at being rejected for her lateness, but at no point did she even consider her part.
What if we all started talking to our Youth in this way?
Where would our future generations be?
I made it clear, she does early bedtime for 10 years before she opens her mouth and presents to another what is possible if they adhere to an early bed sleep routine and rhythm.
That is why I can say what I say with authority, because I live what I present. Nothing more and certainly nothing less.
Talking to a beautifull young girl at the farm shop restaurant. Her senior waitress was saying how much she loves her and I said they could pass as mother and daughter as they have same blond hair cut and we laughed.
As I have met the young girl quite a few times, I asked about the boyfriend situation and then said how about it if the lady who works with her shares some wisdom from her lived experience. I then shared a few things from my lived wisdom and they both loved it and were all ears, so to speak.
The older lady said you have said so much, I could apply that to my own relationship with my husband.
Of course this makes sense, because wisdom is for everyone and not just a single person or an age group.
That moment for me was amazing as I really could see and feel 2 women, 2 different generations come together, listen and settle with what was presented.
Whether they take anything on board or not is not my business or concern.
My job was to deliver what felt true in that moment and that is the job done.
Holding back, doing small fluff talk or pretending to be nice would not have any purpose. For me, that means there would be no point, no value and no service on my part and an utter waste of time, as no evolution.
What I mean by that is delivering everything I could in that tiny space of 2 minutes was an offer to evolve, as they could get something here if they listened and applied the wisdom.
Does that make sense?
I clocked a huge crowd of teenagers at the airport – very loud and noisy heading towards the same gate and yes they are on the same flight.
School trip and what stood out was the boys were generally very tall. The other thing was so many had acne.
For the record, I had acne for 35 years and nothing was shifting it until I changed my sleep times and started drinking water more than ever before.
From observation, there was not a water bottle in sight, but there were the coloured drinks and fizzy stuff we tend to associate with youth beverage consumption.
In the line in my usual style, I got talking and found out what this trip was about.
It got even noisier when we boarded but it got less as the headphones went on with the staring at the screen in front.
I noticed on the flight these teenagers were all around me and I was for the first time ever seeing the fixation to the screen. No one was asleep, talking or even having a nap.
Airlines cater for all of us, so movies that we want to watch are all there at a tap on the screen, so why on earth would we even consider closing our eyes?
Another thing was chocolate.
Without saying anything here, the reader is asked to consider what the Chocolate blog on this website is presenting.
The quote on this blog from Serge Benhayon is worth considering and pondering on.
We cannot blame our youth of today when good old fashion love and talking and connecting to them is not happening in their homes.
What if the void for them is filled with screen time, chocolate, smartphones and everything else they get up to, which confirms they are not met by those who are supposedly raising them?
I know teenagers who are not like this, but it is very rare today in our world.
Most of us have not stopped long enough to realise that these youth are one day going to be our adult population.
If we just look at this one microcosm snapshot of the youth of today- how does that sit with us when we think about the future of this world?
Before we blame teachers, the government and the crowds they hang out with, would it be wise and responsible if we considered looking first at home, as that is where they are looking for real role models?
On that note – no child or teenager will ever listen if we are not walking the talk and talking the walk. In other words, we need to live consistently what we would like our kids to be and do.
Classic example is screen time – we try and lay down the law about this, but it falls on deaf ears.
Ever wondered that it could be because they look at us as parents – supposedly role models who are not doing it ourselves, going to bed late every day, swap a mobile phone screen for TV or spend hours on social media?
What message does that give out to them?
I know I would pay zero attention to anyone in my life who honked their horn, told me what to do and not do, but think its ok for them to do it.
We need to smarten up and live in a way that holds an Authority when we open our mouths, because it is backed up by a consistent way of living.
I am a great example of that and the proof is right here – these guys have been met and connected with and I know some of them by name. Not trying to be their best friend or hang out with them but let them know – I will not be accepting any nonsense that disturbs this flight.
I didn’t have to say it, just the way I am, how I express in every way is felt and I do not doubt that for one moment.
This comment has to be out there for the world, as this one real life story actually represents many who are choosing to live in this way.
21 one year old helping out his dad in his small diner tells me that he wants to retire. Every time I go in we get the same story of how he does not want to work but he loves money and wants lots of it.
Today I asked him (again) WHY does he want a lot of money and his reply was ‘To buy houses and live off the rent’. Again he tells me he does not want to work.
I then ask what does he plan to do at such a young age with no work.
He wants to wake up when he wants, drink coffee with his mother and go to the gym.
Yes that is it. Nothing more and nothing less. We could say that is a simple life.
I reckon he has forgotten that I have heard this same response over and over again and I know he is totally convinced it is going to happen.
The question here is WHY have we got a member of our young generation wanting to retire, when he has not really been in employment aside from his Dad’s diner?
If our working population are a marker of what is coming then we all better wake up because we are breeding youth that do not have a work ethic and neither are they interested in earning money consistently. They want it now, fast and a lot of it.
This is not an isolated case at all. I am a living citizen journalist that has heard this from our young adolescents over and over again. Bottom line – they do not want to work.
Walking in a local community, I met 2 old men who had a lot to say about the youth of today. They wanted to be heard and it was obvious they had much to say and could not stop talking.
It felt like years of frustration and anger and one of them looked deeply hurt underneath the anger with his locked jaw.
I was told the Italian guy was 84 and yes, he looked well and was standing straight and we could say he had a lot of life left in him. It is clear this old man is no push over and he started by saying how old fashion decency and respect is long gone with the current youth, as he is discarded on the streets when he walks past groups of school children. They will not move or give way on the pavement and that deeply upsets him, and he blames the parents for their “who cares attitude” – his words.
The other man a little younger and retired was outside his tiny little shop, which he would like to turn into a museum to exhibit how back in the old days, people would visit and have their shoes repaired and luggage. The size of the shop is what most would say is a garage and the space was utilised to the max and he was very proud of his working life in there. He said that he has been looking for a young person who would be interested in being an apprentice to continue this trade, which he sees as valuable.
We talked about the waste-full society we now live in, and I said most are not interested in shoe repairs or luggage repairs as we are a throwaway culture. With online shopping and delivery to your door, everything you want, you can have it at the tap of a button on your smart phone or computer device. Just minutes before, I was talking to a lady on the street loading up her car with empty boxes and polystyrene. She looked embarrassed when I said is this the result of online shopping and she said yes, and she is addicted to it. Are most of us that do this as a form of self-medication addicted, if we are to be honest?
Back to the 2 old men – they just wanted to be heard and it was like they were on the world stage saying ‘we have lost the plot’ and where are we going to end up. Mr Italian was certain that the youth of today will pay for their lazy lifestyles and the economy will be null and void as we will not have a working population, judging by the youth he encounters on a daily basis in his neighbourhood. He said the parents are too busy staying up late and the bottom line from both was “nobody wants to work anymore” and they agreed that the pandemic has accelerated that to a point where it is not ever going to return to how it was in the past. They want the youth to wake up and learn lessons and what I clocked was the sadness underneath all the venting and expressing.
We could say this is rubbish, nonsense or no point in even mentioning, but what if they have a point? What if these elders in our local communities hold the answers to our future?
What if common decency, respect and working hard are our normal but we, with our modern day world of intelligence have moved away from this and lost our values?
What if our work is an important and integral part of human life and could help us to evolve as a species, if we understood more about the real purpose of work?
I have come to realise that it is always worth talking to people as we really don’t know what is going on. Most of us have so much going on in our own personal lives and so we don’t really engage with another, as we see them as separate to our kind and we keep our distance and place them in the “strangers” category.
For me personally, I see things very different now and it has made me more aware of what goes on for people that I may not have come to know, had I not made the conversation happen.
Sometimes we just have to listen and not dish out advice, but if we feel to perhaps present a question or two. There are too many of us elders in the community with time to offer some common sense and wisdom, especially to our youth of today but we don’t bother.
It is a crime to know that a child has had anxiety throughout their teenage years and now sex with the new boyfriend at university is the only important thing. Furious at the doctor for not prescribing a stock of contraceptive pills, the stress and anxiety heightens.
As an elder with some lived experience and a tank full of common sense and wisdom, I feel equipped to present some sensible questions.
Firstly, the doctor has said that the blood pressure is rising and they need to be certain that before giving out the monthly prescription, the blood pressure needs to be checked.
So I would say – WHY on earth are you reacting to something that may actually be of benefit for health reasons?
What this young woman is not aware of is that taking any form of medication has side effects and that includes the contraceptive pill.
There are numerous studies which tell us that the pill has long term affects and many women were unaware of any side effects.
The doctors know this woman lives with quite a high level of anxiety and this may be a contributing factor to the high blood pressure.
It is understandable from a medical point of view to play safe and ensure that the body is not going to be displaying other symptoms as a result of the prescription.
We as patients expect this cautious approach and certainty that the GP wants to take on before handing out a monthly authorisation for contraception pills.
Next – would it not be wise to question why there is a tendency for high blood pressure going on in this body? Is it because of the medication taken to avoid pregnancy or is it something to do with anxiety since the age of 12 or both or something totally un-related?
Not asking questions confirms, cements and allows us to continue on the ill road in life.
In other words, we cannot grow, learn or evolve from where we are currently.
Next – this wise woman says to the young woman “What is intelligent about wanting more sex in the hope that it will de-stress you and remove the constant anxiousness that is even visible through the nervous-ness of speech and shaking body and in particular your hands?”
Our education system and the way we have been raised seems to have Intelligence that we deem as important and value and yet it is void of any real common sense.
Yes it is great to have knowledge and become academic but not if it negates the stuff we all need to know and be aware of.
So we go to university and the pressures are widely publicised with the initiations of excess alcohol and doing stupid things that are very dangerous and harmfull. We are being told of the rise in mental health disorders with university students. So what is the Intelligence behind all this studying if this is what is happening?
WHY are we all not up in arms and questioning this, because something is clearly not right?
Why do our children have anxiety that is incrementally rising year after year with a strong refusal to deal with it when there is the support on offer?
Why do we blame everything and everyone and not take the responsibility to address and find a way to deal with our issues?
Why do we assume it is ok to continue living however we want, doing what we want with zero regard to the human body?
WHY has our world not yet addressed how to live human life on the education agenda worldwide, so that our children are equipped to deal with life, no matter what is presented?
Instead we allow ill behaviour to continue, blame the systems and everything else and bludgeon the human frame with distractions that include endless hours on a screen and copious amounts of sugar or whatever food and drink they want, without policing their health and wellbeing.
Where did we lose the plot and when are we going to get back on track Dear World?
A reminder to ALL of us – our youth of today will be the working adult population in the near future. It is time to open our eyes and ears and see and hear what is really going on for these generations and it will become clear that how they are living will have a huge impact on our health systems worldwide.
If this feels way off, read this blog and our other blog on Youth on this website.
It is a reality check and a wake up call that our youth of today as a whole are not doing great.