The span of a generation from beginning to end seems always open to debate and controversy. Nevertheless, by broadest definition, the years for Generation Z are 1991 to 2011.
According to an article in The National, this generation might be the saddest generation of all evidenced in the rising rate of emotional disorders among adolescents. They increased by 70 percent between 1974 and 1999. In addition, the rate of adolescent suicide has doubled in the last 30 years.
Why Is Generation Z Depressed?
According to a study reported three days ago in the Toronto Sun, music-loving teenagers are more depressed than their peers and bookworms are the happiest of all.
Social media websites have also been linked to depression, according to a study released in late March by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Certainly, three challenges my kids face that I did not face are:
The links I’ve provided feature helpful information for parents.
According to Researcher Mark McCrindle, defining characteristics of Generation Z include:
Immersed in technology
Very collaborative and creative
Masters of multitasking
Technology leads them to expect instant results and constant feedback
Grow up in smaller households with older parents.
Until the global recession, materially endowed.
Many will work in careers that don’t currently exist
Expected to have at least five careers and more than 20 employers
Below is a PSA about cyber bullying created by the National Crime Prevention Council. Also, here are two articles from the website Empowered Parents:
For the most part, I’ve got very happy kids, and we have made a lot of decisions with their emotional health in mind. I’ll try to highlight some of these in an upcoming post, but, just briefly, we do not allow and have never allowed in my 13+ years of parenting any video games. The studies on negative outcomes of too much video-game playing were compelling and I decided to heed the warning in 1997 when I became a parent for the first time.
Today, my 13-year-old is an avid reader who has never once has obsessed over her iPhone or Facebook account. We monitor her closely. We are very strict. All things considered, she never gives us any problems.
I recently dragged her kicking and screaming to a church youth group event. She did not want to go, because she didn’t really “know” anyone, even though we began attending there in November 2009. The process of getting her there literally left me in tears. Parenting is so hard. As my friend reminded me last week, it’s ALL JOY and NO FUN. As it turns out, she had a great time and she made a new friend.
One day, in 1974, at the Holiday Inn in Las Vegas (where kids stay free), my brother Billy tried to teach me how to swim. I was so afraid to take off my lifesaving, styrofoam bubble, but once I had it off, he pushed me hard when I wasn’t looking right into the middle of the swimming pool. I am so glad he did!
I learned to swim that day, but even more importantly I learned that sometimes the only way to overcome anxiety is to just jump in. I learned that grit is something to be proud of and that sometimes it is the antidote to sadness; the sheer force that carries us over many an emotional landmine no matter what Generation we claim.