Fascinating article in the Sunday New York Times today on how the stress we are putting on our kids is making them sick.
With testing of High school students showing incredibly alarming rates of mental illness:
- 54% with moderate to severe depression.
- 80%+ with moderate to severe anxiety.
And 94% of college counseling directors "seeing rising numbers of students with severe psychological problems."
Even pediatricians are reporting 5-, 6-, and 7-year olds coming in for migraines and ulcers!
Another teacher said with all this, "We're sitting on a ticking time bomb."
Under the pressure to get into great schools and get a foot in the door in excellent careers and attain high-paying jobs, we are making our kids work longer school days, do more homework, take more Advanced Placement (AP) exams, participate in numerous extracurricular activities, and achieve, achieve, achieve.
We've taken away normal play time--the fun out of life growing up--and the imagination, exploration, and discovery away from kids just being kids.
The paradox is that "the pressure cooker is hurting, not helping, our kid's prospect for success."
Especially for parents who themselves grew up poor or lacking, maybe they are trying to do the "right thing"and give their kids more than they had and a "better life."
But maybe even the best intentions to mold children to be what we want them to be, or think they should or could be, is misplaced.
If only we could all take a little (or BIG) chill pill...you can't force success--with forcing you get the opposite results.
Back off people--instead of pushing and endless disciplining--how about we listen to the children, guide them, show unconditional love, and be excellent examples--show them integrity, a strong work ethic, along with an appreciation for work-life balance, then perhaps we will get not only the success of the next generation that we all need, but also happier, better adjusted, and healthier children. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)