Depression and Anxiety in kids and how to deal with them

Muay Thai class at Fitness in Motion Studio

<H2>Research done in the beginning of 2021 found that :
compared to international average 10% more kids in HK report being depressed. </H2>

“The life satisfaction and health levels of Hong Kong schoolchildren are far below international levels.
Local researchers have found, pointing to difficulties pupils face in communicating with their parents and a lack of exercise as key factors affecting their happiness.”
( SCMP Jan 8 , 2021 ) .

Working with kids way before I have opened Fitness in Motion studio and it doesn’t come as much of a surprise .

Unfortunately we see more and more overweight kids or in poor physical condition.
That is a direct cause of bad nutrition and lack of movement due to sedentary lifestyle .
Kids are sitting at school most of the day .
Then come home – sitting to do their homework.
And then they sit down playing the phone / watch TV .
So no surprise here .

Difficulty in communication with parents also come as no surprise  .
Simply because parents in HK are overworked.
At time they are home they don’t have energy to BE PRESENT with the kids .
( many time this is also due to unhealthy lifestyle, stress, bad nutrition and lack of physical activity ) .

Although DH in Hong Kong are a blessing and are helpful in taking care of the kids, they are not a substation to parents education , communication and influence .

So kids find themselves between the ‘ sledge and the hammer ‘ in a sense .
From one side they are pressured by the education system.
and on the other they don’t have the parenting guidance and input that a present parent should have on their kids .

That exactly what lead to depression , escape to a drug/alcohol abusive ‘friends’ groups , lack of discipline, entitlement and much more issues .

And obviously the later you catch it and address it – the harder it is to change ( we all as adults know how hard is to change ) .

So what can actually be done to improve the situation ?

Here are just few ways :

1. Parents self care : many times parents neglect their own well being because they feel it takes out from their family time .
The problem with that is if you don’t take care of your well-being there is 0 chance you can be FULLY PRESENT with your family when you do get the time .
you just crash and want time to rest .

2. Communication: Make sure to have conversations with the kids about what’s going on in their life / school and let them tell you everything they got .
I know that sometime they have too much to say ( I have a 7 YO that can’t stop talking ) – but it is much better to voice things out and get them out of your head then keep them locked and getting some uncontrolled weird thoughts generated. ( Valid for both kids and adults by the way )

3. Keep the kids active AT LEAST 60 minutes EVERY DAY :
First of all because kids are kids and they have to play as part of their development in general.
Second : moving helps with regulating the hormonal system and help to distress as well as burn energy.

4. Engage in a physical discipline :
Many times I have discussed the benefits of martial arts practice .
Not only because of the practical self defence aspect but the discipline it builds :
Adherence , respect , partnership , overcoming chalenges , building character , deal with uncomfort , break boundaries and much more .
So practicing ANY kind of discipline will build stronger character of the kids .

5. Modeling : One of the things we are mistaken as parents is that we think kids do what we tell or force them to do.
In fact – kids do what you we and not what you say .
Hence if for example a parent forces the kid to exercise and is not doing it himself – there is very slim chance it will actually work .
So if you want your kids do something – you have to be willing to do it yourself and be a role model.

One of my goals when I have decided to open the fitness studio here in HK and open so many disciplines of martial arts is to give kids and parents a space where both can build themselves and overcome the stressing life challenges  we are all dealing with day in and day out and have a positive impact on their well being.

Check our full schedule and see which classes and timing will suit you and your kids best :