Something in modern life is undermining mental health, especially in the younger generation. Kids are being diagnosed with higher levels of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and everyone aged 6-18 is seeking more mental health services and more medication! Back in the old days when we were at school, the closest thing to medication was Panado syrup for a sore throat and a plaster and some ointment for grazed knees.
Children of today are definitely growing up way too quickly! Today, millennials are turning out to be the anxious generation. A lot of recent studies have shown that millennials suffer from anxiety at a much higher rate than generations before them. But what is really wrong with kids these days?
A lot, actually. They’re the first generation raised with Internet. The first generation to experience “helicopter” parenting. They’re at once constantly exposed on social media but also permanently sheltered by overbearing parents. They’re not the first generation to experience a rough economy, but they certainly act as if they were. Carol Beaton, in Psychology Today, says an abundance of choices is stressing young people out: “Paradoxically, our stress befalls the generation with the most optionality yet,” she says. “This blessing could also be our curse.”
One recent survey found that about half of millennials live away from their hometown. That’s a significant number. A different study found 85 percent of adults 45 and older think it’s very important to live near their kids or grandkids. Boomers have figured out the happiness that comes with living near family.
Kids don’t know how to play anymore and enjoy living a care-free life. The advent of the smartphone and its cousin the tablet, are big culprits. The impact of these devices has not been fully appreciated and goes far beyond the usual concerns about non-exisiting attention spans and the ability to read and poor grammar. The arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of children’s lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health. These changes have affected young people in every corner of the nation and in every type of household. The trends appear among teens poor and rich; of every ethnic background; in cities, suburbs, and small towns. Where there are cell towers, the smartphone dominates!
It’s all about balance and parents and teachers need to assist the youth and help them to still embrace their days of just being kids and appreciating the very advanced digital age we live in. It all begins at home, our leaders of tomorrow need guidance and support more than any other generation ever has!