Inspired by her experiences with her own son, Kay Reeve is launching a teenage self-help book this month. Here she talks of making the move from mother to mentor and why now really is the time to try and help transform the lives of teenagers.
My son suffered severe depression and had been suicidal since the age of eight. It was worrying and stressful as a mother to see my son in such emotional pain. I tried many ways to get help and support, but by the time he was 18, he was living in a hostel. I was terrified he would take his life or end up behind bars. Then I found a way to help him understand his emotions and make them visible. He progressed so well from here, I knew I had to do something positive with it to help others too.
Having left work in 2017 to start the book, other issues got in the way, then in 2020 my husband and I separated, sold our home and I lost my job. I started another job late August but by October I was suffering depression and anxiety attacks myself. I knew I had to do something and used my system to plot things out. I handed in my notice and took a huge leap of faith to back to writing Brain Unchained.
On November 12 I called a friend who is a book mentor, and said I wanted Brain Unchained out by spring. I forgot I was also calling the UK’s leading empowerment coach, who said he wanted his copy by Christmas. He loved the concept of the book, helped me structure my coaching model correctly, and put me straight onto an agent who again, loved the idea immediately and so the book was released just before Christmas. Just five weeks after the call.
Emotional Awareness is a massive benefit in any time and for all occasions, both suffering and offering empathy and support to those suffering. Emotions are not avoidable, under any circumstances, but knowing how to recognise the unbearable feelings and thoughts that come with them, is important to understanding their options, and the power they have in their own recovery.
It is challenging enough for teenagers at any time, transforming from childhood, through teens and into adulthood in around six years. That’s a lot to deal with, plus hormones, school options, changing relationships around their age, as they move between schools and college then on to work. They can also learn to drive, get married, have a family and drink alcohol, all legally, with these six years of being a teenager.
That list encompasses some major life shifts, without the added stress of bullying, family breakups, grieving and the added stress of COVID, missed exams, and lack of job availability in these times. Then there’s the bigger emotions of falling in love and experiencing their first heart break.
Emotional Awareness will play a massive role in helping these teenagers learn to navigate these times, and an equally massive role in helping parents show some compassion for their teen’s challenges, supporting them through it all rather than pushing them through these awkward years.
To help my son through his depression, after years of struggling to understand his emotions, I switched from mothering to mentoring. We would have constructive conversations that involved me listening without bias or judgement. As I developed my system and used it during these mentoring sessions, he transformed rapidly. I spent around five years developing this strategy further and used this to create the framework of Brain Unchained – my new Teen Self Help book. It’s that framework strategy that I now call the Mood Mentor Model.
For 2021 my dream is simply to stay safe so one day I can hug my grandchildren again and being able to pay my bills. My mission is to focus on helping transform the lives of 100,000 teenagers. Lockdown is giving me a great opportunity to be online and connect with as many people as possible in hopes of achieving this for 2021. Living with purpose.