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Children and Anxiety

Many children are experiencing anxiety these days. I see it all the way down to elementary school. What happened to “fun” being the main activity in Kindergarten?

Over the years, I have watched a lot of things change as they relate to school, home and community. Slowly but surely we are stepping away from good old family values.

I thought it would be interesting to share these comparisons:

In the Past  Today
Stay at home moms were common Both parents work in the majority of families
Homemade meals Drive through or processed food
Kindergarten was the beginning of school If a child doesn’t go to preschool, they are behind on their “first day”
Kids stayed home for the first 5 years to be grounded in family, values and faith Daycare starts at 6 weeks old
Divorce was the exception More than half of families have been impacted by divorce
Living in one home with two parents Living in two homes, each with one parent
You had sisters and brothers A combination of step, half and full siblings is the norm
Highest GPA 4.0 GPA’s are 4.7+
Parents could easily help with homework Kids need tutors
Open school campuses Fenced and locked schools
Safe at school School shootings
Embarrassing moments ended at the end of the day Embarrassing moments live on in social media
School bullying was limited to in-person time at school Bullying now happens publicly and 7 days a week
Marijuana was illegal Marijuana is now legal (not for youth, but much easier to get)
Learning disabilities minimal Learning disabilities prevalent
Smoking Vaping (with drugs)
Stores, gas stations and banks closed at night 24/7 access
Phones were quiet at night 24/7 voicemail
Snail mail 24/7 texting and email
One phone number per family One phone number per person
Miss a day of school: they are still teaching the same topic when you return Miss a day of school: they have moved on and it’s a scramble to catch up

There are many more things we could add to this list. It is true that every generation goes through change and growth. Our parents and grandparents had black and white TV’s. Their parents could only listen to shows on the radio. Phone lines used to be called “party lines” and were shared by more than one family. We have come a long way!

The downside to where we are today is that our children are suffering. They do not get enough rest. They are constantly performing, preparing and producing. Holiday breaks are for catch-up with homework, whereas that time used to be for catching up with family.

I may be old fashioned, but sometimes we just need to get back to basics. I think we are missing a HUGE piece in life when our children meeting criteria becomes more important than them experiencing balance. When we don’t say NO to more testing, unending learning curves, rising GPA requirements, daily grade checks, inability to stay home when they are sick and hours of homework being the norm, we are saying YES to our children being overwhelmed, overworked, stressed, anxious and finding other coping strategies (vaping and drugs) to keep moving. I see it every day.

Please take the time after reading this article to talk to your children. How are they feeling about school? How are they sleeping? How often are they nervous and anxious? Do they need more time with you? Let them know you not only care, but that you are willing to stand up for them.

We are blindly creating a generation of workaholics. Parents … say NO when it’s too much for your child. You are the only one who can.

Traci L. Williams is the Founder of A Loving Way to Parent. She provides parenting classes, teen programs and individual coaching. She is known for her practical parenting style and can be reached directly at 951-240-1407 or traci@alovingway.com. www.alovingway.com

 

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