Are we putting too much pressure on our young people?
There is widespread concern that family life is “breaking down” and the culture of respect is disappearing, according to Cambridge University’s Primary Review.
So I thought I would ask my of my Teen Writers for her thoughts?
Are our young people “Generation Stress”
When I first heard that today’s children are stressed and worried about their future, I wasn’t surprised. The pressures of teenage life are huge nowadays. You have the pressures of having to constantly prove yourself to your peers and older generations, as well as the pressures of exams and other academics.
Stress can also come with the hype over knife crime – I don’t enjoy walking anywhere on my own in the dark, as I’m constantly told about how dangerous my fellow teenagers are supposed to be. I shouldn’t fear for my safety when walking home. Safety in general is a huge worry for teenagers.
I personally don’t know if the media deliberately, or knowingly, makes teens feel bad about themselves. I think it’s more likely that the media shows a picture of Angelina Jolie and teenage girls compare themselves to her, saying things like “I’ll never get a Brad to like me” or “her figure is perfect…”. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, where kids unwillingly make more pressure for themselves. I think this also ties in with the pressure they receive from peers to look good all the time.
As well as all the social pressures, there’s also the academic side of things. There’s this constant pressure from schools and future prospects to do brilliantly. A lot of the time the schools stress you unintentionally, because a lot is riding on your GCSE results for them as well. Doing badly in your GCSE’s can cause problems with colleges, and getting a job you enjoy. Academics are a very important aspect of life, but becoming stressed over them just makes life harder than it needs to be. If schools were to try and make lessons more enjoyable, it could help.
Bullying will always be an issue as far as I can see. Fear of being bullied ties in with impressing your peers. Needing to impress the popular people in your school or social life can help prevent you from being the subject of insults. And when someone does say something, it can really knock your confidence and add to a long list of stress.
Talking to adults doesn’t always work, especially parents. They can really get involved and end up making the situation worse for you, accidentally of course. Also, in my eyes, there seems to be some kind of cosmic battle of the ages going on between teens and elderly people. A lot of the times I get on the bus during the school run, I hear older people moaning about teens. It seems they’ve forgotten what it was like to be 14 and at the same time, us teens have forgotten about respecting other peoples wishes.
I don’t know if there’s a solution. Every teen and child has their own problems, and their own reasons for doing things. Trying to understand every child and trying to figure out how to solve their problems would be impossible. All that can be done is befriend them, and offer them your experience.
My name is Tania, I’m 13 and I live in East London, England. I’ve been working with Sarah for a couple of months now, and I love some of her ideas. So when I was given this opportunity I jumped at it. I feel that schools and a lot of the older generations don’t really understand kids, and I’m looking forward to being part of their education for once!