Counselling for teenagers

I provide specialist guidance, support and counselling to teenagers and parents who are struggling with their child’s behaviour.  You may feel that this post is not relevant to you but please read on, I would argue that this posts concerns every parent.

I have written these statements below as they were said to me. They were made by students who describe themselves as black or mixed race. They speak about what it is like for them to grow up in the UK today and once again, please read this blog, no matter what section of our society you identify with. These statements were hard to hear and they speak for themselves.

If you are black………….

-You will be stopped by the police a lot, and, when you are, one of the first questions you will be asked is, “Have your parents ever been arrested?”

–You are far more likely to see a black woman dressed professionally than a black man. Black men wear uniforms or overalls

-English people only want to claim you if you succeed and if you do you are called mixed race

If you do not succeed or are on the dole or commit crime you are black African or from The Caribbean.

-When you are born on a council estate you have low aspirations and capitalism is so tactical it makes the people on the bottom think it’s their fault.

-You could have good qualifications but if you are black or have some black heritage you will only end up working in a shoe shop

-For black people you can only succeed if you try a career in sport, (principally football), music or crime and if you haven’t been signed by a team by the time you are 13 it’s probably too late for you

-Different skin tones afford you different opportunities. A person with a lighter skin tone will have more opportunity than a person with a darker one, however the person with the lighter skin tone will still be limited by his ethnicity

-What is education? To teach us that this system exists and that we have to live with it?

These statements are challenging and you may be wondering why I have included then in this blog. The answer is that to a greater or lesser extent all our children are expected to conform to a system that is not flexible and cannot tolerate much deviation from the norm.

The consequences of this, when it goes right, and a young person is able to succeed on the system’s terms, are good for the young person who has learnt the rules and adapted to the system.

The consequences to a young person when they are unable, for whatever reason, to access education in the standard way can be unpleasant to say the least.

Limiting self beliefs, shame and unexpressed anger are some of the usual suspects in terms of the negative thoughts and emotions that a young person can experience during their school days when things do not go according to plane. These issues can cause havoc to a young person when they are required to compete and succeed in society, however help is at hand.

If you have a child who is struggling in education then please get in touch with me, I would be happy to hear from you.