Looking back on your years growing up, what do you picture? Everyone sees something different. Some happy images of childhood innocence, for some, the picture is more bleak. What about today’s kids? In the world of advancing technology, rampant social media use, and high expectations for academic performance, how are today’s youth faring?
Looking back to those images of childhood, many of us may have thought back to our days of running the neighborhood, playing games with our friends, and those amazing trips that we still think back to.
Many of today’s kids have those same experiences. But for many, the stress has come creeping in on them. Kids today are immersed in additional stress. They have to deal with the popularity contests of social media, online bullying, and schooling that is increasing the pressure to do well or be left behind.
Not only are kids stressed, they’re also trying to figure out just how to navigate this stress. The result? Many kids feel the pressure and try to push themselves to meet this high expectations. They become obsessed with their grades and their achievement. They freak out when they don’t do as well as they hoped on a test or project. They have an image of perfection in their head and they keep pushing themselves to attain this unrealistic ideal. And through this, they get more and more stressed.
All of us
This isn’t only for kids and teens, it applies to everyone. How many of us has held ourselves to an unrealistic expectation and added more and more unnecessary stress to our plates as a result? If we’re being honest, probably most of us have done this (or are currently doing this).
Break the cycle
In today’s society, stress has become such a normal part of our lives that it almost feels like a necessity. But it doesn’t have to be. Especially for our kids, it is important to allow them to talk about how they’re feeling, help them to find ways to deal with the pressures and stresses of life, and to provide them with additional support if necessary.