How Back-To-School Stress Is Different Today
When I think back to my youth, I can remember the butterflies I got in my stomach as we pulled up for my first day back to school. Did I get the right v-neck sweater from The Gap? Were my bangs teased enough? Was Mrs. Carroll going to put me on the spot in math class? These used to be the important issues, and finding out I didn’t have the same lunch period as my best friends felt like the end of the world.
Today’s kids, however, are facing very different issues and, as parents, we have to be prepared for that. We can’t just give them the same pep talk we were given in our childhood. It’s not easy for any of us to talk about but these are the issues facing our children every day. Don’t downplay them. Face them head on — together.
Whether you’re 10 or 90 years old, almost all of us can relate to having felt bullied at some point in our lives. This isn’t a new issue but it is ongoing and evolving. If nothing else, shows like Netflix’s controversial series, 13 Reasons Why, demonstrate the types of issues facing kids nowadays.
A staggering 70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools and nearly half of students in grades 4-12 say they have been targeted in the past month. Students who identify as LGBTQ are even more likely to be victims and may be at a higher risk of committing suicide.
In the old days, airbrushed Cindy Crawford may have been the picture of perfection but no one at school looked like that. Whether it is filters, makeup tutorials or even plastic surgery, the Instagram accounts of some teens look like photo shoots straight from the pages of Teen Vogue. It’s intimidating and can leave your child feeling inadequate and unsure of how to cope with the pressure to live up to an intangible level of perfection.
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