Tag Archive for self-esteem

Do we stifle our children’s creativity through fear and perfectionism?

How Parents get in the way

As some of you may know, Freya has started doing her own web shows. Really, they are just Freya ranting to the camera and showing off. They are not very good or entertaining, but she is very proud of them. She has done 5 of them now and has some fans and even has some people sending requests in for her to do things.

However what has shocked me is other people’s reactions to me letting her do this. It is only at times like these that I realise how different I am.

I know Freya inside out; I know she is an inventor and a perfomer and I know that she is creative. She speaks her mind and she gets bored easily. My approach to everything Freya does is to allow her her freedom to do what she wants and not interfere, unless I really need to.

In her last web show Freya wore a skirt and happened to do a few cart wheels. The feedback was phenomenal – suddenly I was opening my child up to paedophiles! I was stunned and not only that, I needed to pull the show as it was so bad.

OK, firstly I control both of Freya’s accounts and no one can get to her. If a paedohile watches it then he watches it; should I stifle her expression and creativity through fear? I think not! Secondly, is it up to Freya to figure out that her show is not good and either ask for help or stop doing it.

What kind of Mum would I be if I stood in and told her that her work was unsatisfactory? I’ll leave that for school…

Does this helicopter-type viewing not take away a child’s innocence? As I write this I wonder how many parents would not be as free as I am; how many do not give their children the freedom to make their own mistakes? How many step in when really they need to stay out? How does media hype and the fear of something not being perfect or maybe, God forbid, making the parents look bad, stop us allowing our children to just be children?

As for the web show, it is bad, it is crazy and half the time, who knows what she is on about? However, I will continue to let Freya be her crazy free self until she decides maybe it is not a good idea anymore.

See Freya and her strange antics

Do you talk to your teens about drugs?

If not you should be because if you are not someone else is and if you need any help please get a pack of our Teen Conversation Cards they may just open the door for you.

Self-Esteem of Youth; a Major Factor of Drug Use

How Teens Feel about Themselves Marks Potential Drug Abuse

I recently read an article stating that most drug use was linked to self esteem. It states that adolescents who report feelings of low self-image and lack of self-love are highly likely to engage in drug use. Parents need to make positive self-esteem a priority.

While on one hand I agree, I feel like I need to add and expand. My 7 years in the police had me come into contact with many different type of drug users and I feel it is much more complicated than just self-esteem.

Reasons for drug use fall into many catergories and I think only one of them is self esteem….

Drug addiction is, without a shadow of a doubt, down to how someone feels about themselves and their circumstances. Environment, expectations, intelligence and self-esteem all have a massive impact here. Drug addiction is comparatively rare and, in most cases, not what parents are dealing with.

What parents should be more aware of is recreational drug use, which is far more common and in my opinion most of the time has nothing to do with self-esteem. Yes, there may be a bit of Dutch courage and peer pressure involved here, but someone who decides to use drugs in a recreational way generally chooses to do so, rather than being driven by a need or addiction.

They may do it simply because they like it – that simple.

They may do it because they like the feeling of being out of control ( maybe it is the only time they feel free).

They may do it to relieve stress.

They may do it simply because they want to.

We are dealing with a generation that are so much more clued up on drugs and their associated dangers than their parents. They are not fools; many have seen their parents drunk and they know the figures and all the facts on Cannabis verses Alcohol, for example. They know that, whether we like it or not, to them cannabis is a more sensible choice. This has been the case for over 10 years and in their minds, with evidence to back them up, this is unlikely to change.

So as parents, what can we do?

Firstly, get the knowledge and don’t over react to recreational drug use. Get the knowledge, get clued up and don’t believe the hype. In a recent survey people were asked to rate drugs in the order of how dangerous they thought they were. The majority of people put the least dangerous as the most lethal and the most lethal as the least dangerous! This just goes to show that we are not informed, we believe all the hype and the reality is so different. Our value base is having us make decisions about the dangers and not the actual facts of the situation. Surely, this cannot be right….

Secondly, think about what you can do with your teen to replace the need for drugs. If they are someone who likes a thrill or is relieving pressure, then what could you add to that to get the same high? Risk-taking activity must have an outlet and extreme sports will often replace the need.

I think what we need to do as parents is be open enough that our children will talk to us about drug use, because only then can we work with them to stop it. While we remain closed and all drug use is bad, we cut off a vital line of communication.

The earlier you can get armed with the information and talk to your child about drugs, the better.

Questions like,

Is cannabis more dangerous than alcohol?

Do people who take cannabis go onto harder drugs?

How else can people get the high, apart from drugs?

What else can teens do to relieve pressure?

These are all important and vital conversation that we are failing to have, so I challenge you to be brave and start a conversation

today.

Talking to your teens about Drugs

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