As if us mothers didn’t have enough anxieties on our shoulders when it came to bringing up our kids in this unsafe world, we can now add the coronavirus to our already lengthy list of worries. If you’re anything like me, then thinking about our children growing up in this era keeps you up at night as well.
All we want for our precious kids is that they are happy and healthy in a safe environment. One of our most crucial responsibilities is protecting them. But the world keeps demonstrating just how precarious it is right now. It makes being a mother doubly difficult. I have outlined some of the threats our children are facing in this day and age.
As parents we need to be mindful of these pressures and perils, so that we can arm them with fundamental tools that, with hope, will help them navigate the dangers without falling victim to them.
Kids these days are anxious. An American Psychological Association survey reported that teens’ self-reported stress levels are higher than those of adults during the school year. That stress is coming from both the pressure to excel in their school work and the social environment, which as we know is at its most delicate and most ferocious state during the formative years.
When I was going to school, I could leave my worries behind at the school and come home and ensconce myself in the safety of my bedroom. These days, with the insinuation of social media, children simply can’t escape. Online accessibility 24/7 is a grave threat to everyone, especially young people who are trying to traverse their journey from childhood to adulthood.
Social media risks
Social media is a double-edged sword, which can ultimately cultivate poor self-image and constant comparisons to others. This can lead to feelings of low self-worth and depression.
The world is full of depraved individuals who trawl cyberspace to find their victims. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent our children from being connected, but we can teach them the dangers of these predators.
Poor social skills
The advent of our fast-paced technology is creating a generation of people who don’t know how to interact with one another. Kids these days don’t really learn these social skills, because they are hardwired to gadgets that make it easy to text, tweet, post, like, snap, and so on. Being online all the time prompts them to disengage from activities and isolate themselves from real people.
Instant gratification generation
Today’s generation has a sweeping sense of entitlement. I’ve experienced it with my own children. They want everything and they want it now. This instant gratification generation doesn’t have to wait for anything. They’re never bored, which means they’re usually overstimulated. Boredom is something every child needs to experience on a daily basis. It forces them to be creative on their own, instead of relying on entertainment from a screen.
“Never before have kids spent as much time in front of screens or had as much access to the entire world at their fingertips. Consequently, the threats this creates range from laziness to obesity to worldview implications to low self-esteem,” said Andrew Linder of Allprodad.com.
We can’t do much about outside hazards like pandemics and politics, but we can certainly do our best to safeguard our children from the threats listed here. Being aware of them and formulating a game plan early on are the key. I know motherhood in this age of uncertainty is a little bit terrifying, but I believe we can do a good job as long as we prepare ourselves in order to help and guide our kids through the tough spots.