Recent medical studies on kids are showing alarming results: children today are more depressed and anxious than they were a decade ago. Even comparing today’s kids with those of the more stressful periods in human history. Eating disorders and suicidal thoughts have also increased and are becoming more and more frequent among younger kids.
While healthcare professionals have yet to agree on the deciding cause or causes for the deteriorating mental health of kids in our society, parents, teachers, and adults, in general, can contribute to making the world an easier and safer place for growth and development.
Socialization is still key
We should not let these stressful times prevent kids from enjoying time with other kids, family, and friends. Studies have shown that in times of crisis, recreation and socializing tend to be sent to the back burner while we take care of the more pressing matters. But while we attend to those issues that posit the most urgency, we should still make sure to plan for fun.
Ease the pressure
We understand that parents will always wish the best for their children. However, adult aspirations can become burdensome to children. As adults, it is our job to keep our expectations in check and, to some extent, to ourselves. It is perfectly safe to show support and encouragement, however, and to be present in our children’s lives.
Social media and screen time have been blamed for a lot of children’s mental and emotional health issues regarding body image and problematic social conduct.
While it is not typically advised to ban our kids from using social media or screens, as this could end up alienating them, specialists strongly recommend suggesting different options for entertainment like arts, playing an instrument, drama, and sports.
Giving options also stimulates children’s self-esteem and independence while minimizing the amount of leisure time they have to indulge in habits that could eventually become harmful.
Provide a safe space for kids to express themselves
It is still as important as ever to open up conversations with children where they can talk about their worries, anxieties, and doubts. Make sure to listen openly to what they have to say and guide them into finding answers on their own.
It is also beneficial to get them involved in activities that can have an impact on the world, such as fundraisings and environmental causes. These can make kids explore their potential while also enforcing their role in their community and the world.