Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Really - you are boring!

 Really- you are boring!


Kids of middle and high school age are looking for a sense of purpose.   They want to be known and to matter.  Sadly, they are not finding that sense of purpose in school.  A little less than half of the Gen Z kids feel motivated to go to school based on a poll from Gallup and the Walton Family Foundation.  They say that school is just boring.  In fact only 52% said they found something interesting every day in school.  That is just ONE something interesting in the whole school day!

Gen Zers were born between 1997-2012.   The good news is that the younger members of this generation expressed high levels of happiness.   Some 80% of the 12-14-year-olds described themselves as happy.  The news is almost as good for the 15-17-year-olds of that generation.   But the numbers decline for LBGTQ kids of all ages, college students and older Gen Z folks in their early to mid 20’s.

The news about what makes the Gen Z kids happy is not all that remarkable.  They say they need to feel safe and loved at home and supported by others.  Therein lies a strong clue as to why the LBTGQ community is not feeling as happy.  Students who say they can talk to their parents about important things report a greater sense of well-being.  These results support all of the psychological data that have been collected over the years regarding what kids need.

The kids who reported themselves unhappy tend to compare themselves to others frequently and believe they come up short.  They feel that no one really knows them, not their families not their teachers.  One in three do not feel loved or supported in either home or school environment.  Not surprising, those Gen Zers who spend more than 20 hours a week on social media report frequent anxiety and distress.   Again this polling supports the data that are being collected right now regarding the use of social media and the mental health of young people.

Social media makes it easier to compare ourselves to others and people often come up short since only the best of ourselves is often posted on social media.    Social media tells young people they are the only ones with imperfect lives. 

Our kids are mostly bored at school but happy in their lives.  The news of what we need to do for our kids isn’t new.   When will we ever learn?

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