According to Joseph C. Blader of Stony Brook State University of New York as reported in Archives of General Psychiatry, August 1, 2011, discharges for psychiatric hospitals rose by more than 80% for 5 to 13 year olds and 42% for older teens between 1996 and 2007. These numbers were based on those kids who were hospitalized for assaults on family members or peers as a result of minor provocations. This in the face of more outpatient care of kids who need it.
My question is simply this? What is causing all of these kids to be so angry as to feel the need to act out in this manner? Is it the food they are eating, the environments from which they are coming or the activities such as video games and other visual media depicting hostile behavior, or music that is demeaning and angry in tone that they are squandering their time on?
On the other end of the spectrum, I wrote an article a few weeks ago relating to the increase in depression where Dr. Bernie Siegel was noted as saying that he thought the kids of today are being regimented too much as they are being pressured very hard to do exceptionally well in school and extra curricular activities like athletics and music without a regard for being able to have a say in how they spend their time.
My guess is that all of these pressures are bearing on kids today as they find themselves being pushed to grow up too fast without the ability to enjoy their childhoods. What this is creating is kids who are at a loss in how to think for themselves because it is all being done for them. This is so unlike the days when we would play with our friends in the neighborhood till it got dark without any parental involvement.
It seems to me that kids today do need parents to parent them. What this means is for parent to be there to do fun and entertaining things with their kids as well as to be available to share the wisdom that they have gleaned over their life times. It also requires the need for parents to stop being “friends” with their kids while setting up reasonable expectations for them. Unfortunately what I have been seeing in my practice is that the kids are running the show in many households acting out to get the attention that they so sorely need. I also see kids who are feeling so pressured by their parents to perform, that they don’t believe they can live up to the standards the parents have set.
Parenting is not an easy job for sure. If you child is acting out a hypnotist could quickly and easily get to the bottom of the issue without any invasive measures. Once their fears and concerns are taken care of, the ill behavior ceases making life easier for all.
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