Kids Greatest Pressures
Over the course of my three decades studying youth culture, I’ve regularly asked parents about what they think are the greatest pressures facing teenagers today. Typically, parents will cite things like peer pressure, drinking, and bullying. What parents might not know is that while these issues are a concern for today’s teenagers, teens themselves are now saying that the most critical issue facing their peers is anxiety and depression. In a Pew survey of one thousand teens ages thirteen to seventeen, seventy percent cite depression and anxiety as the most critical issue facing young people their age. Fifty-five percent said bullying is a problem, fifty-one percent cited drug addiction, and forty-five percent mentioned drinking. And when asked about what’s at the root of all their anxiety, the number pressure kids say they feel is the pressure to get good grades. Parents, be sure your kids are expected to do their best, rather than some socially defined and idolatrous best.