Alva Review-Courier -

Stressed out kids


April 13, 2018

“Today’s kids are too stressed.”

We hear that with each succeeding generation. The stressors today are not that different from those of a century ago if you look at the classic pressure to succeed. But now we add the crazy-busy schedule that seems the norm and the stranglehold that technology imposes.

It’s hard to shield kids from the unexpected when they know the minute something happens. As Kate Hurley, adolescent psychotherapist from L.A., says, “The landscape of fear has changed.” Even positive events posted on Instagram or Facebook feed the constant pressure to succeed.

She goes on to say that separation anxiety disorder isn’t just for babies. “Kids are afraid that mom or dad is going to die on their way to work, they’re afraid they’re going to die at school; it’s a very real fear of death and loss.”

Technology is addictive and it has made even positive gratification seem less legitimate. The “mean girl” syndrome doesn’t stop at school anymore. It follows a child home and, according to statistics, 7 of 10 young people have been victims of cyberbullying.

Technology is hyper-distracting. Look at any group and notice how often they check their phones – starting in grade school.

With all the benefits of technology, what could be so stressful about growing up today? Julie Saetre points to the stress trifecta: achievement anxiety, over-scheduling and technological difficulties. She says what kids need today is a free-spirited romp outside and more face-to-face unstructured play, not aggravating video game intervention.


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