Before I started on this amazing project that is WeParent, there were so many things I was or wasn’t doing in my own parenting that I was completely unaware about. If you don’t know, you don’t know right? And when it comes to ensuring my little boy grows up to be a happy, confident adult with a healthy self-esteem, I’m not sure I would be confident in knowing the parenting strategies or the correct things to say or do that would guarantee this happens. And, on talking to many other parents about this, I have found I am certainly not alone.
When I discovered, after working with our team of psychologists, that the mental illnesses of anxiety and depression that more and more kids are experiencing, can actually be avoided, I was hooked. According to our Head Psychologist, Dr Don Tustin, if parents spend just 2-3 hours a week on their child’s emotional development between the ages of 4 and 9, then their chances of being bullied and developing anxiety or depression are greatly reduced.
According to the Children’s Society, by the age of 13, one in four girls have a diagnosable mental health problem and 1 in 5 boys. But what’s really shocked me when I’ve been looking into these statistics, is that these are at least 10 years old! Why? Because investment is simply not being given for research into children and young people’s mental health. What do those figures look like now in the age of social media and with more stress being put on kids at school than ever before? I shudder to think.
And this is what spurred the team on here at WeParent. Unfortunately, most of us parents don’t have a degree in child psychology. Nor has anyone given us the instruction manual on how to bring up a child to have a lifetime of positive mental health. We discovered that there is very little in the way of trusted, professional advice or help for parents who are worried about their child’s mental health.
This is why I came on board as Head of Content at WeParent. My job is to sit between the experts and our customers, answer your questions and involve you in the process. The key to what makes WeParent work is in taking the jargon out of the psychology and make it accessible and easy for us parents to implement at home with our kids.