Bloggers and longtime friends of BritMums Becky Goddard-Hill and Penny Alexander have written Be Happy Be You, a brand new book published by Harper Collins. It is a happiness-boosting book for teens and is a guide to help them develop robust and practical ways to cope with the challenges of teenage life. Here, they provide tips for parents on raising a happy teen and contributing to positive teenage mental health.
Mental health and teens today
Our teens need support with their emotional wellbeing now more than ever.
The NSPCC have reported the number of referrals by schools in England seeking mental health treatment for pupils has risen by more than a third over the last three years. In a review on teen mental health The Nuffield Trust have identified a significant rise particularly in hospital admissions due to teenage girls self-harming, a rise in teenage suicides and more demand for university counselling services.
It is believed the pressure of schools; social media and child poverty have all had an impact.
Be Happy Be You covers 40 topics prevalent to teens. Issues include body confidence and assertiveness, relationships with parents and peer pressure, conscious consumerism and embracing diversity.
Each topic is underpinned by science and has a practical activity for teens to try out. Whilst dealing with serious topics the book is fun, positive and uplifting and focussed on positive emotional health.
5 ways to help teens with their happiness
When it comes to supporting your teens with their emotional wellbeing, we have 5 top tips to share with you:
- Create space to talk, if you are always busy, rushing about and preoccupied your teen will struggle to confide in you. Walks, a cake at a café and long car rides with the music off are all conducive to time to chat.
- Share your own experiences – If your teens hear that you were once worried about friendships, unconfident about your body, struggling with school, etc. they are much more likely to think it’s okay (not weak or silly) to share their worries with you.
- Try and listen rather than fix. A lot of times teens just want you to hear them as they explore their ideas and thoughts rather than have you jump in. It can be tough to keep quiet but really give it a go and see how much more they open up.
- Role model to your kids a can do attitude, let them see you work through problems and explore solutions rather than simply vent.
- Be your teen’s biggest cheerleader. It is so important to our happiness that we feel supported and encouraged, so wave your pom-poms wildly where your teen is concerned at every opportunity (not literally, that would totally embarrass them!)
Teens get a bad rap but actually they’re amazing, evolving, interesting and fascinating. Parenting teens can be the most brilliant adventure!
Peek Inside: Be Happy Be You
About Becky and Penny
Becky is a registered life coach and psychotherapist and can be found blogging on all aspects of family life and lifestyle at Family Budgeting.
Penny spent many years teaching media and drama to teens and has worked as an education consultant. Penny blogs at Parentshaped about family life and the outdoors.
Their first book Create Your Own Happy is a happiness activity book for 7-12 year olds
Get your copy of Be Happy Be You now and start making your teen’s life better!