Thanks to Robbie from ‘Attitude’ who presented to our young men on Friday. Attitude provide a range of presentations with a health, wellbeing and relationship focus to schools throughout New Zealand. These presentations supplement the Health curriculum and other programmes that are offered such as ‘Mates and Dates’ and ‘Loves Me Not.’ We encourage parents to continue the conversations at home – what did your son think was the most important point he heard today and why? What was most applicable to him and why?
The presentation for young men in Year 9 was specifically focused on wellbeing/hauora. The key message was that your happiness directly relates to your healthiness. Look after yourself and good things will happen. Don’t worry about things you can’t change but focus on things you can change.
Physical - Boys are really good at not doing anything about how they are feeling. Get a checkup, go to the doctors, if something is wrong don’t keep it to yourself, talk to someone about it. Take time to recharge. Get a good night’s sleep. This means putting down your technology and turning your brain off.
Mental - Boys are great at “banter” but it often goes too far. Think about what you say, how it makes other people feel. Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right. Find the good in everything instead of focusing on the negative stuff.
Social - Choose good friends, but if you want good friends you need to be a good person. Be the sort of person you would want to hang out with.
Spiritual - It makes you feel better to help other people, get out in the community and help! Make a difference. Have a life where you connect to something better than yourself. There were three big messages: be thankful, block the haters and family is everything.
The presentation to year 10 focused on healthy relationships – they are not just physical or one-sided, they are mutually respectful, enjoyable and safe. The issues with pornography becoming the default source for sex and relationship advice for many young people, and the unrealistic expectations and risky behavior this encourages, were key parts of the presentation.
The Year 11 presentation encouraged young men to think about what they can and cannot control. They were encouraged to focus on the things that they could control, which is mostly around their choices. Making great choices was highlighted and categorised into four areas: find your strengths, find your passion, find meaning and find a cause. The young men left the presentation with three key ideas: your choices have power, be someone you are proud of and it is ok to ask for help.
At Year 12 the focus was on defining what a healthy relationship is, something that is difficult in a teenage community where social media and the internet often distorts what a healthy relationship ‘looks like’. The seminar addressed aspects that help make a healthy relationship, such as respecting mutual boundaries of; spiritual, social, physical and mental health.
The presentation for young men in Year 13 was focused on mental health and explored the challenges facing young people in New Zealand today. The key theme was that we all struggle at times and that it is okay to struggle, but not to struggle alone. If you have concerns about your mental health or that of a friend, reach out and ask for help.