One in two kids in the United States has a physical or mental health problem they are dealing with. Can you believe that 50% of school-age children today are dealing with a physical or mental health issue? That’s staggering!
The scary part of that statistic is the fact that it’s sourced from data that is 10 years old. Before the pandemic, before every child having social media accounts and smartphones in their backpacks, we were already dealing with a 50% rate of mental or physical health issues.
In fact, right now, according to the most recent data, 70% of parents admit that they are experiencing significant pandemic parenting stress. It’s no surprise with all that you are facing in your family, that you and your kids are dealing with more stress than we have ever seen before.
The fact is we are facing challenges, but as I always say, “It’s gonna be ok!” None of the challenges are issues that we cannot resolve together, and that’s exactly what I am here to do!
Why are so many kids struggling today?
Unfortunately for today’s kids, we’ve accepted stress as just a normal part of our culture. The reality is that kids don't have coping skills. They have zero stress tolerance.
With the prevalence of social media, video games and other distractions, our kids today are very disconnected from their body sensations and their thoughts and feelings. Schools today value academic achievement and testing scores, but do not benchmark our kid’s ability to deal with stress and their own thoughts and feelings.
My kid is doing great in school, why are they falling apart at home?
Schools have a focus on academic achievement and as long as our kids are meeting academic benchmarks, they can fall under the radar for the mental or physical health issues they are dealing with.
Due to the high achievement standards in school, our kids deal with a very regimented and structured school day. They don’t have time to think for themselves. They don’t have time to process their feelings. They are only worried about what is happening right in front of them, and reacting appropriately to stay out of trouble.
So, it’s little surprise that when they finally come home, to the place in the world where they are most comfortable, that they almost seem to fall apart.
If this is happening in your home, you need to understand that this is completely normal. It doesn’t mean we can’t help your child, but their reaction to their daily circumstances are entirely predictable. That’s great news for us, because we can fix it!
Some solutions start working right away, but it takes time and consistency.
In order to fix or at least prevent kids from falling apart, it is important to be able to identify and understand the signs and symptoms of mental health issues greatly affecting the kids. Parents should pay more attention to their kids and their behavior to have a better grasp on what is happening. We have to be capable of noticing when kids are struggling because when we can do that, we can take action about it and we can fix it.
Parents have solutions in their hands. Sometimes, solutions start working right away but sometimes, when kids are struggling, it takes time and consistency to see progress. It’s not like magic; there is no universal step by step process that would resolve such issues overnight.
We have to take note that it’s a case-to-case basis considering that some kids are easy to parent so it’s easier to take action but for some parents, it is challenging and that is understandable.
Every kid has a moment of struggle but how are we helping our kids to cope?
Struggles are normal for kids to experience but sometimes, the struggles our kids are facing are just too much to handle. And so, we should not only pay attention to our kids but also important is that we help them cope and tolerate the uncomfortable moments because that is what builds the keys to a good mental health – grit and resiliency.
As much as we want our kids to be academic achievers, we should prioritize their mental health. Remember that factors like anxiety and stress badly affect their mental health. Kids should be able to enjoy their childhood and live life to the fullest. After all, we can’t create amazing human beings.
How kids feel about themselves is a good reflection of their self-love. If kids don't feel good about themselves, they don't love themselves. It is thus important to be there for them and to teach them to get through tough moments in preparation for the bigger ones.
On the next episode, we’re going to focus on solutions for struggling kids.
Make sure to stay tuned for the next episode as we’ll be focusing on solutions for struggling kids and empowering parents. And always remember that no matter what is going on, it’s gonna be okay.
No matter where you are in your journey, we have resources to help you:
Is It ADHD Or Something Else?
If your child is struggling in ways that make you wonder if they have ADHD, I've developed a quiz to tell you if your child has ADHD, or if it's something else that should be on your radar. It's FREE to take the quiz, and you can get your results immediately.
➡️ “Is it ADHD or something else?” Take the quiz.
➡️ Join our FREE Natural Parenting Community to receive science-backed resources for your child and family. Join here.
➡️ Get help from Dr. Roseann and her team. Apply here.