Our children are stressed more than ever. They are on a non-stoppable – high – speed treadmill. Demands from school, parents, extra curricular and a never ending intrusive connection to social media and cell phones. Our children are on 24/7, always on the go.
As a tragic result, we see anxious, depressed and stressed out children like never before. Nearly 7% of Canadian teens suffer from some serious and/or disabling anxiety.
According to an article in Globe & Mail ” School study paints a picture of teens under pressure” – this is a serious problem.
The article reveals the Canadian study of 103.000 grade 7-12 students. It shows that teenagers are under so much stress that they are losing sleep, being driven to tears and experiencing greater levels of stress than parents and teachers expected.
Read the statistics of the study here
Dr. Atkinson, a clinical psychologist working in Toronto, sees children who are confused and overwhelmed, who are not able to experience life in a natural way, because they have to do more and move faster.
I see stress and anxiety as symptoms, a serious wake up call to all of us. Something needs to change.
Underneath stress and anxiety there are needs and suppressed emotions – stress and anxiety are natural reactions to what the children are experiencing, they are signs of overload, but the children have nowhere to go. This way of living has become the norm, we are all stressed. While this unhealthy environment goes on and on, we are creating children who are worn out, burned out before they even begin, maybe for life.
This means that children today need us more than ever.
The good news is that we by pulling the emergency brake can help our children deal with stress and burnout. Not by telling them and staying on the treadmill ourselves, but by slowing down and dealing with our own stress.
They need to see us:
- get off our own treadmill
- say “no” and mean it
- say “yes” and mean it
- go for walks
- be mindful and present
- be in the moment
- do nothing
- take a nap
- have time to chat
- have time to listen
- have fun
- take a long bath
- do yoga
- read a book
- bake a cake
- take care of ourselves
- say what we mean
- listen to our bodies
- follow our hearts
- take deep breath
- have no plans
They need us more than ever: to support them, encourage them and spend time with them.
It can be hard to do these things, but lets do it, for ourselves, our children and the future.
Be the change you want to see in the world - Mahatma Gandhi