Student Stress

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms. I, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jan 11, 2010

    Just now on the news, it was said that HS & college students are more depressed these days (news said 2007), than back during the Great Depression. Some of it has to do w/ the amt of kids taking anti-depressents.

    What does everyone think about that? Surprised? Not surprised?


    I can't say I'm surprised. There are a LOT more complications, events, situations, pressures, etc. in life NOW than back then, so there's more to be stressed about these days. I also think it's safe to say that not only students & other young people are more stressed out now, but EVERYONE in general.

    It's unfortunate, but that's life.
     
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  3. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    What issues do you think teens face today that they didn't in the Depression?
     
  4. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Life is much more complicated now. Choices in every facet of our life. Back then it was much more simple. Spartan almost.
    Back then most of life was spent meeting basic needs of food water warmth. Now it is what IPod color to get, which clothes to wear, what kind of energy drink to buy. WHich friends do I hang out with.
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    We're also acknowledging adolescent depression more now than we did in generations past. I know when I was young and clinically depressed I was told I was just lazy and to get over it. This was when I was in 5th grade! It was a nightmare to pull myself out of that hole (emotional and academic), but I finally found a good therapist who helped me figure out my own head and bring me back to honor roll status.

    These days, I don't think I would have fallen through the cracks so easily.
     
  6. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

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    That is an excellent point - stress and depression has always been around - it's just that in the past that we did not acknowledge and look to constructively deal and work with it.
     
  7. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Plus it doesn't have the social stigma that it had during my grandparents era.
     
  8. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    You are describing "wants" rather than "needs" - something the last few generations have had a difficult time distinguishing between. The only complications kids (and their parents) face today are those they impose on themselves.

    Teaching kids to appreciate the fact they can have an iPod at all (regardless of color) will go a long way to helping them deal with the depression of having a green one instead of a blue one.

    I realize society tries to impose many of these, but the final decision of accepting them is up to each child and parent. Most people like to consider themselves independent and above letting someone else tell them what to do, so why let society tell you what to do?

    I grew up during the time of Izod shirts, Jordache jeans, parachute pants, Member's Only jackets and Miami Vice. But my parents were wise enough to teach me having a pair of jeans or a jacket to wear in cold weather was more important than the label sewn on the pocket.

    The issue of friends is legitimate and has been faced by every child who went to school, but again, the key is realizing the difference between a true friend and a popular one.
     
  9. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Cerek, you make some great points. You and I are from the same generation, by your description, and my parents also taught me to appreciate what I have, rather than to cry over what I want.
    Does this news surprise me? Not really . Our society has become much more materialistic, in my mind. We have more gadgets, more technology to do our work. Heck, when I found a gradebook keeper, I thought I found gold. In our district, teachers EXPECT to have a laptop given to them. It is all how we are raising them.
     
  10. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I was in college during the 80s (graduated HS in 81). In high school, I never really cared about brand-name clothes and that continued (for the most part) through college. I did wear Jordache jeans, but only because I was so skinny, that was all my mom could find to fit me right. Even then, we drove to an outlet-type store and bought them at a greatly reduced price. My one indulgence was the Member's Only jacket. It seems silly now, but at the time, I decided I really wanted one. My mom told me she would buy a regular jacket, but if the logo was THAT important to me, I would have to pay the difference. Looking back, she should have made me pay for the whole thing.

    The biggest problem is that, for the most part, our generation never grew out of this materialistic phase. It just continued into our adulthood and many people STILL think they have to have the latest and greatest things that come out. Their children are raised in this setting and come to think of owning laptops as a necessity instead of a privilige.

    Society has seriously exaggerated the importance of superficial things and too many people have bought into that mindset. That's why we have the economic crises right now, because people have insisted on buying cars, houses and other items they couldn't afford just so they can keep up with the Jones' - or better yet - stay one step ahead of the Jones'.

    I don't deny the depression many kids feel today is real, but if they and their parents could understand the difference between an actual difference between needs and wants, a lot of that depression would go away.
     
  11. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I certainly agree w/ your posts as well as the other posters. Serious issues we have today that young people have to be stressed & depressed about such as sexual abuse, suicide, parent divorce rate, bullying in schools, peer pressure, drug & alcohol abuse, & eating disorders & other self esteem issues to name a few, while of course still happened back then were not paid attention to the way they are now & it was swept under the rug more. Back then, there were bigger fish to fry. It was more about survival. Nowadays, there's counsellors & therapy groups for all kinds of problems under the sun (sex addiction, phobias, etc., the list is endless).

    And on top of all that, with more technology comes more problems. We of course didn't have the internet back then, but nowadays, the computer alone has a whole array of probelms: Being stalked on the internet, porn, MySpace problems, internet gambling, etc. & the list is endless there too.

    Unless everyone chooses to live very primatively like for example, the Amish in this modern age, problems will arise that we didn't have 10, 20, 30+ yrs ago. But I agree w/ you that people can choose to not involve themselves in many things that are potentially bad. So for example, computers & the internet are good for research, etc., but people shouldn't get wrapped up in all the negativity that it can cause, but a lot of people out there are unwise about that.

    I was in HS & college in the 90s BTW. I personally didn't get wrapped up in materialistic things & didn't care about being popular.
     
  12. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I agree there are several legitimate and serious issues facing teens today, which you mentioned. I also agree that teens have always faced these issues, but they weren't given the attention deserved several years ago. And, yes, technology does bring in new problems (such as cyber stalkers and very easy access to porn) while adding more complexity to age-old problems (bullying and backbiting).

    And I also agree that times have simply changed over the last 20-30 years. I live in a small, rural town. When I was in elementary school, our parent use to take me and my cousins to the theater every Friday night and set us out to go see the show. This gave them some "grown-up time" together and we called them to come get us when the movie was over. Nowadays, I wouldn't dream of letting my sons go the theater on their own. It just isn't gonna happen.

    Still, I think the core issues are the same as they always were and a lot of the "new issues" are superficial things that aren't nearly as important as society wants to make them. Teaching children the difference between "needs" and "wants" is vital. So is giving them the self-confidence and support to be secure enough in themselves so they don't need these other things to "fit in". Anyone who needs a certain color iPod is just exhibiting self-doubt and needs to be told they are a great person regardless of what color iPod they have - or even IF they have an iPod or not.
     
  13. JackTrader

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    You and I are about the same age - I also graduated HS in 81. And I agree that many of our age group have that mindset about wanting bigger toys and bling.

    While much depression among young people may be linked to desires for material possessions as you mentioned, I also think that there are other reasons for depression - the more traditional issues of self-esteem, identity, social acceptance, etc.
     
  14. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Speaking of this, I've always lived in a big city, but my parents are very protective of me anyway. Now some people may think they're overprotective, but I was never allowed to spend the night at a friend's house, which didn't bother me. As a child, I always thought there was no big deal about being in pajamas & brushing one's teeth at someone else's house as opposed to my own.

    I certainly never left their eyesight for a second. They're weren't the kind of parents who let me ride my bike down the street or sent me to get the mail, etc. like a ton of parents do even these days. I know I wouldn't dream of doing it if I had kids. And the days of being able to leave your doors unlocked has IMO been a thing of the past long ago, I don't care where a person lives.
     
  15. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Massive degredation of the family unit and support system. The majority of my student's don't live in a 2 parent household and extremely few live with their biological parents.

    EXTREMELY intense pressure to perform academically.

    Greater worries over events in the world as the result of a new media able to bring them real time reports in vivid color instead of the old news reels at the movie theaters.




    I remember when I was growing up, the BIG concern was that some of us were "latch key kids" who came home to an empty house instead of a waiting parent. Now, the MAJORITY of my kids do this and it's considered to be quite normal.
     
  16. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    I wonder...

    Today, everywhere a a kid looks, there are numerous examples of people leading rich and glamorous lives. Much of this is fake and contrived. Yet they try to measure their life against the supposed success of the rich and famous.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Another source of stress is that these kids join the "rat race" before they're able to spell the words.

    From the time they're potty trained, they're constantly on the run-- from soccer to gymnastics to girl/boy scouts to whatever. They have no time to be bored-- to enjoy saying the words "What are we going to do today??" Their lives are programmed from the moment they get up until long after some should have been in bed.

    There's no time to just be kids. Time to develop their imaginations. Time to climb trees. Time to decide what they're going to play, who they're going to play with, and what the rules will be. Some adult has already decided that, and they're already 5 minutes late.

    I think we, as a society, need to take a step back and let our kids be kids.
     
  18. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Aliceacc, you are one of the most eloquent members of this forum.
     
  19. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Aliceacc, I agree w/ you that kids should be kids. They grow up way too fast these days, but I think parents try to keep them busy w/ activities because of the adage, "An idle mind is the devil's workshop."

    But yes, everyone needs to learn to balance the things going on in their lives: School, spiritual life, work, home life, etc.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Thanks cat.
     
  21. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I think parents keep them busy with activities because they don't want to be the parent that DOESN'T have their kid in dance and gymnastics, basketball and softball, piano and violin. What would other people think?

    If it were the idle mind thing, a stack of construction paper and a box of crayons would suffice.

    I don't have children, and I don't plan to have children. It is the description that Alice provided (overplanned activities) that makes me shutter. I wouldn't want that life, I wouldn't want my child to have that life. I have a friend that tries very hard to not have that life with her 2 boys but she feels terrible guilt that she isn't "giving" her kids everything that other parents give (by give, I mean being involved in every activity under the sun).
     
  22. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I let my boys decide what activities they want to do. My oldest son played Coach's Pitch baseball for two years, but decided he didn't like it any more when it reached the Little League level and he got hit a couple of times by pitches from other kids. After that, he tried basketball for a couple of years. Last year, he joined the band at his middle school (mainly because kids had to take either band or chorus) and he really enjoys that. He also has a talent for it and scored in the top 2% of the All-State Competition back in December.

    My middle son also tried Coach's Pitch for 1 year. That was the only time when two of the boys were playing sports at the same time and often had games in different locations at the same time. My ex complained bitterly about that (even though she never took the boys to practice or games) and became even angrier when I told her "This is part of being a parent". By the time we had two playing sports, most other parents had been going in at least two directions for a couple of years.

    The two oldest ones also did Cub Scouts for two years, but eventually lost interest in that.

    I never pushed the boys to be active in sports, but did encourage them to pursue any activities they wanted. But if they decided they did not want to participate, I didn't make them. After my oldest one did so well in the first All State Competition, he automatically received an invitation to compete in the next level of the competition, which was scheduled for January 9. During the holiday break, though, he didn't practice at all and finally told me "I don't want to go to that second competition. It's the first week back at school and I don't want all that extra pressure". I agreed it was bad timing for the 2nd competition and told him he didn't have to go if he didn't want to.

    Meanwhile, I've known other parents that have had their kids in gymnastics since K-1, in addition to all the other stuff mentioned. I have no idea how or when that left any time for homework and certainly didn't leave much "free time" of any kind for the kids.
     
  23. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    One year during the fall, I kept one of my kids out of all sports and extra activities. Some of the other parents were horrified with that decision!
     
  24. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I generally don't worry about what other parents think of my decisions. I don't tell them how to raise their kids (even when they are doing it wrong j/k :D ), so they aren't going to tell me how to raise my kids.

    THIS is the message I strive to teach my own kids and my students - that what others think is not important - only what you think. Judge yourself by your own standards, not someone else's.

    Of course, that is a lot easier said than done for most kids.
     
  25. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Well, usually (or I should say hopefully) parents would want to keep their kids busy w/ something substantial & effectively constructive.
     
  26. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I only sign my boys up for what they are interested in. When my younger son didn't want to do Karate anymore, I let him stop going. They both love Baseball, luckily so do I.

    A friend at work always has his kids in a bunch of different activities and I always wondered when do they just play with friends. He signed his daughter up for volleyball last year and started talking about a college scholarship. She hadn't even had her first practice. I made the mistake of saying "if she likes it" and he had a heart attack about Why wouldn't she like it? Weird.
     
  27. ku_alum

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    In some cases, developing artistic abilities is more substantial and constructive than running like mad from piano lessons to basketball practice to gymnastics class.

    Sitting quietly and being creative are not unsubstantial in my book.

    Should kids be exposed to a variety of activities? Absolutely. But the point was referring to over-scheduled lifestyles that create stress.
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

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    And in many cases, kids need time to think their own thoughts. In fact, I rather think that sort of post-processing time is vital to the consolidation and reinforcement of knowledge - quite aside from the social skills that get practiced when kids don't have the option of relying on adults to set all the rules and do all the social negotiation for them. I think it's possible to ensure that kids don't have lots of scope for mischief without denying them the time and space in which to think and be who they are rather than who their activities define.
     
  29. ku_alum

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    Yeah, That! :) Thanks, TeacherGroupie!

    Another hinderance to young people having time to think their own thoughts is the cell phone. They are never "alone," they always have someone to confer with ... have a decision to make? Text your mom or your friends for help ... great in some cases, but what is learned when the cell is used to help with decisions with everything?
     
  30. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    That's true not only of the kids though!! I see so many adults who seem unable to put that phone away. Even in the faculty room, teachers will sit there texting instead of being part of the conversation.

    I think it's sad.
     
  31. Ms. I

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    I completely agree w/ you. During my childhood, my parents tried their best to expose me to a lot of things, but we weren't running around doing something every hour after school or even everyday of the week. The main extracurricular activity I did outside of school really was piano lessons at a prestigious music school from ages 7-17 & at various times, maybe something held afterschool at the school I was attending like a school club. During the smmers, I did various things, but still had time to have a break & relax.
     
  32. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm not anit-activity. When Brian started middle school, we told him he HAD to join something. We didn't care what it was, but he was not allowed to leave every single day on the early bus. So he joined Intramurals and stays 2 afternoons a week. (And, by the way, loves it!!)

    But I don't think it's necessary or heathy for kids to be booked solid from the age of 3. I think that kids need some down time. And, unlike adults, "mental health days" simply are NOT an option for kids.
     
  33. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Ding ding!!!!!!!



    During my master's degree program we had several who would pull out laptops to "take notes". They were texting, making grocery lists, planning a wedding, or playing games instead. I always wondered how they would feel if one of their students did that in their classroom.
     
  34. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm guessing they would be the first to be outraged at the rudeness.

    Classic case of "Do as I say, not as I do."
     

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