Mental Health amongst Children

Children's Mental Health issues and how reading and martial arts can help

A magic combo to help children avoid mental health issues

Martial Arts and Reading

Welcome all bookworms, and fans of martial arts. You may find this an unusual combination: reading and a school of learning traditionally associated with combat. However, it transpires that people are not fully aware of just how much Martial Arts can offer, despite all the Karate Kid movies. Perhaps more importantly the general public does not know MA advocates seeks first and foremost to avoid conflict and violence.

What reading and Martial Arts have in common

We all know that reading a good book has a positive psychological impact on children, especially if it’s done on a regular basis. The whole process improves their ability to concentrate, feeds their imagination, stimulates thought, helps them develop an independent thought process, deepens their need and thirst for knowledge. In much the same way, the training required in Martial Arts reinforces the importance of being disciplined and focused. Most children excel when they have a goal to reach. Once they learn this new skill or technique, they feel a sense of accomplishment, feeding that yearning to learn more, to develop.

Children's Mental Health issues and how reading and martial arts can help

Frightening statistics we can’t ignore

The statistics concerning the state of our children’s health in the UK is alarming. With waiting lists stretching over 10 months for 8-year-old with mental health issues, surely the alarm bells must be ringing in everyone’s ears

  • One in eight (12.8%) 5 to 19 year olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed in 2017
  • Specific mental disorders were grouped into four broad categories: emotional, behavioural, hyperactivity and other less common disorders. Emotional disorders were the most prevalent type of disorder experienced by 5 to 19 year olds in 2017 (8.1%)
  • Rates of mental disorders increased with age. 5.5% of 2 to 4 year old children experienced a mental disorder, compared to 16.9% of 17 to 19 year olds. Caution is needed, however, when comparing rates between age groups due to differences in data collection. For example, teacher reports were available only for 5 to 16 year olds. Please refer to the Survey Design and Methods Report for full details
  • Data from this survey series reveal a slight increase over time in the prevalence of mental disorder in 5 to 15 year olds (the age-group covered on all surveys in this series). Rising from 9.7% in 1999 and 10.1% in 2004, to 11.2% in 2017
  • Emotional disorders have become more common in five to 15 year-olds – going from 4.3% in 1999 and 3.9% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2017. All other types of disorder, such as behavioural, hyperactivity and other less common disorders, have remained similar in prevalence for this age group since 1999

How this combo can help fight mental health issues

The magical combination of reading and Martial Arts goes even further in a child’s personal development. Both practices improve children’s ability to concentrate on a task and their endurance as they see it through to its completion. Perhaps the the biggest benefit is their boost in self-confidence:

  1. from gaining new skills and knowledge
  2. being part of a positive and engaging story
  3. feeling empowered and inspired
  4. being a part of something

Start incorporating these two activities in your child’s life today. Kiki and Friends stories can help lift your children’s spirits and sense of worth. Plus they are a hoot to read!

Fun and Adventure with Kiki and Friends: A Case of Mistaken Identity

Published by Francesca Hepton

Author and wellness mentor Francesca Hepton is a champion for children's health, well-being and a catalyst for personal growth. Her services include books, kits, and courses predominantly in the field of health, well-being, stress reduction, and life-style choices, as well as workshops with associated course material in the form of manuals, storybooks, training manuals, videos, audios, and mentoring services.

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