Reclaiming Childhood

Freedom and play in an age of fear

Review: Saving Normal

Many human behaviours, quirks, eccentricities and woes which in the past would have been seen as parts of the rich tapestry of life are now branded mental disorders. Read More

nice!

Thoughtful and lovely column!
Especially resonate with "We need a cultural and political sea-change, too, a transformation in how human beings are understood and talked about today."

Mental Disorders Caused by School Pressure

The idea of the increasing number of diagnosis's of mental disorders in youth being caused by media, social benefits, and others listed in the post above are all true. Yet I believe one very important factor is missing. The pressure today's society, especially parents and teachers, are teaching children at a young age that perfection is the only way. Children in first grade are coming home from school with schoolwork that is supposed to help further there understanding on the topic and teach them good work habits for the further, when in reality these young children who only want to go out and play after 7 hours of being locked away in a classroom are being forced to perfect a topic they learned that day. Then to make matters worse, they are then graded on it. This is where the development of mental disorders come in. Children are diagnosed with ADHD because the short amount of the short amount of free time they have to run around and be childish. Anxiety develops because of the feeling the children get waiting for the bell to ring, or waiting until they finally finish there homework and can go play. The drive to be perfect comes from the constant judgement of there work. I am not saying children should run wild in school and everyone should receive a gold star, but the underlying values children are being taught by there role models (teachers and parents) are corrupt and I believe have effected the rise in mental disorders in children.

The idea of the increasing

The idea of the increasing number of diagnosis's of mental disorders in youth being caused by media, social benefits, and others listed in the post above are all true. Yet I believe one very important factor is missing. Parents and teachers are teaching children at a young age that perfection is the only way. Children in first grade are coming home from school with schoolwork that is supposed to help further there understanding on the topic and teach them good work habits for the future, when in reality these young children who only want to go out and play after 7 hours of being locked away in a classroom are being forced to perfect a topic they learned that day. Then to make matters worse, they are then graded on it. This is where the development of mental disorders come in. Children are diagnosed with ADHD because the short amount of free time they have to run around and be childish. Anxiety develops because of the feeling the children get waiting for the bell to ring, or waiting until they finally finish there homework and can go play. The drive to be perfect comes from the constant judgement of there work. These traits develop at such a young age that by adulthood, many of these people are diagnosed with a mental illness.I am not saying children should run wild in school and everyone should receive a gold star, but the underlying values children are being taught by there role models (teachers and parents) are corrupt and I believe have effected the rise in mental disorders in children.

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Helene Guldberg, Ph.D., is the author of Reclaiming Childhood: freedom and play in an age of fear.

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