“A teen’s well-being is promoted and mental health challenges prevented when they have opportunities to contribute meaningfully to others’ lives through service. I cannot imagine a better example of this than Adam Avin.”
Thank you Jennifer Smith Miller of Confident Parents Confident Kids for writing about the book release and your kind words. 🙏 I love this drawing so much, and I still have the first drawing you made of me with Wuf Shanti!
To read Jennifer’s blog:
If you have a teen in your household, surely you are aware of the mental health crisis that has been rippling through this generation since the COVID-19 pandemic. In every group of teenage friends, there are surely some who are dealing with anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges. The American Academy of Pediatrics declared a national state of emergency in children’s mental health.1 In fact, new research came out this week thanks to Making Caring Common at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. That research shows some interesting findings not only about teens and mental health but also about the interaction between teens and their caregivers. In two nationally representative U.S. surveys, they found:2
18% of teens reported suffering from anxiety while 20% of mothers and 15% of fathers reported anxiety.
15% of teens reported depression, 16% of mothers and 10% of fathers reported depression too.
Over 1/3 of teens reported one parent/caregiver dealing with anxiety or depression.
Almost 40% of teens reported being “somewhat worried” about the mental health of at least one of their parents.
Making Caring Common not only published this research but also offered substantive guidance on what we can do about it. Though they offered numerous important strategies you can check out here, one of those strategies was to engage teens in acting on their sense of purpose to serve others and give them a sense of hope. In other words, teen’s well-being is promoted and mental health challenges prevented when they have opportunities to contribute meaningfully to others’ lives through service. I cannot imagine a better example of this than Adam Avin.
Adam’s family experienced the tragic loss of their grandfather, a loving wise soul who was very involved in the Avin’s family life. The compassion that he showed Adam was something Adam became committed to sharing with other children and teens. He became a yoga instructor, learned about mindfulness and began Wuf Shanti, a nonprofit educational organization offering videos and books to children to promote health and wellness. He was nine years old.
None of this would have been possible without the loving support and guidance of his family, particularly his humble Mom Marni Becker-Avin who shepherded him through each step of the way. So the Confident Parents’ conclusion is this…
If parents who struggle with anxiety raise children who struggle with anxiety, so too parents who work at their wellness and serve others’ well-being raise children who are deeply committed to wellness and serving others’ well-being.
There’s so much more to their powerful story but I believe the most powerful words come from the author himself, now a college sophomore, whose book just released. This is a book that has a million different simple and practical and research-backed strategies for teens in being mindful to contribute to their health and wellness – written by a teen for teens.3