It’s estimated that approximately 10 percent of teenagers struggle with anxiety (source).

Kid’s today are more stressed out and more anxious than ever.  We recently had a trustee from the school board to meet with our church staff to talk about the issues facing student today in our community, and he said that students are more anxious than ever.

This was something that you can see as an issue, but not being such a big one.  In a world where we mask everything online.  We only project our best selves, teenagers are more anxiously moving through the world.

When you think about a teenagers world, you realize that there is no off switch.  They are connected 24/7.  Having that digital connection to the world fuels self doubt and anxiety.  When I was a kid, no one would bully me at home, because no matter what my room was a safe zone.  Today, kids and teenagers who have digital devices don’t have a safe space.

I came across this infographic on bullying.  It’s called, “The Parents Guide To Bullying.”  It’s worth checking out.

Here are some stats that stand out:

  • 85% of Bullying happens inside the school.  Do teachers even know it’s going on?  I am sure they are aware, but are they made aware of the issues facing the students?  This past year we had an issue with my son in his grade 1 class.  He was being called a name that made fun of his real name.  We tried to help him resolve the issue, but in the end, it was a note and conversation that helped resolve the bullying.
  • 80% of bullying acts aren’t reported to parents.  Parents have no idea what is going on.  Parents today are busy.  Usually both parents are working full time jobs, and dealing with their kids hobbies.  Parents are so busy today that they don’t realize that their kid has or is being bullied at school.
  • 43% of kids have been bullied online.  Every time that I talk with a student about their online habits, it always comes out that they have no boundaries.  Because there are no boundaries, they are exposed to bullying and other online dangers.   Parents who have teenagers were never raised in a digital world.  They need help from youth workers in their church.  This is where you can come in and help the parent understand why boundaries are a great thing for their kid.

What should we do? 

  1. Help parents be present and aware of where their kid is at.  Asking the right questions and help open a dialogue.  Are they struggling at school?  Why are they reserved at home?  Why don’t they talk to those friends anymore?
  2. Help parents be an advocate at school.  I always know when a parent feels helpless with their kid at school.  It’s really easy to complain about it, but we need to help parents be advocates for their kids.  If their kid is being bullied at school this isn’t acceptable.  The teacher should be brought into the loop, and potentially the principal.
  3. Help parents set up digital boundaries at home.  We always recommend circle by disney.  It’s the best device for setting up parameters and filtering content at home or on each device.  This is the best thing on the market, and we will see more of this in the future.  You will be a hero for just sharing this device with a family (You might have to help them set it up!).

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