When my boys were little, I used to compare them (unkindly maybe) with puppies. Providing they had plenty of affection and were allowed to run around a lot outside, they were happy. Preschoolers are natural little whirlwinds of energy and need masses of exercise. Physical activity keeps little ones fit, healthy and strong, helps them relax and sleep better and is FUN!
There are some wonderfully creative, thoughtful parents who scour Pinterest for novel ways to present a sandwich or jazz up the contents of their kids' lunch boxes. And then there are the frantic, time-short parents whose main concern is how quickly they can throw together some (healthy-ish) packed lunches before dashing to work/doing the school run. This blog is for the second category.
It's the mum's rite of passage I knew nothing about until my eldest started school: Plastic contacting the school books.
It came as a shock. I didn't even know this was a 'thing'. Yet, in the very first week (as I was still navigating school runs, lunchboxes and missing school hats), I was tasked with covering 15 exercise books in assorted sizes by the following Monday - with no instructions.
Around 14% of Australian 4-17 year olds and 20% of 15-19 year olds have mental health issues, according to Mindframe. The percentage of young people flagging mental health as a concern has doubled in the last six years.
Why are anxiety and depression so prevalent among our young people today and what can parents do to raise strong children, equipped to deal with the curveballs life throws at them?