Teen Confidence & Mental Health Expert Annette Du Bois answers the 10 reasons why there are so many pressures on young people today.
Annette runs CHAMPS Academy with her husband Ian Fox, the UK’s no1 confidence club. CHAMPS Academy offer 1-2-1 and also group coaching sessions.
Being a child or teen in the 21st century has got a whole lot more complex. Stress, pressure, low self-esteem, friendship issues and the typical emotional roller-coaster of growing up is causing a lot of issues for young people.
As the Confidence, Life Skills and Mental Health Coach for kids and teens, I’ve reached thousands across the world. Over the years, from my experience, there’s been a significant rise of young people who struggle with life in general and the pressures they feel. Here are my top 10 reasons why this has increased…
The definition of this has changed so much from the coveted title of a BFF, the cautious but can’t keep away from ‘Frenemy’, to the quantity one can claim to have. Navigating the landscape of friendship is complicated for many young people nowadays.
Thanks to KUWTK, TOWIE, MIC and the myriad of others likely to dominate our screens sometime soon, it has created the rise of Celebrity Worship Syndrome, or CWS (yes this is actually a thing!). Most of these are ‘scripted reality’ so what’s played out on screen may seem ‘real-life’ but at some level been fabricated for ultimate drama. Young people are comparing their lives to that which they watch, creating a negative and unrealistic comparison.
School life is fast becoming a melting pot for increased mental health issues. There are numerous reasons why school is stressful for young people but there’s been a huge increase in sick and stressed out students feeling they are not receiving the support they need. This is likely one of the reasons for the massive increase in home-schooling now.
As the top career choice for young people is now a YouTube vlogger, it shows how times have changed. Young people view this type of career as a way to gain creativity, fame, and self-expression and only see the numbers of likes, shares and followers rather than the true commitment this type of career has. But for every Zoella, there are thousands of young people struggling to get beyond a few impressions, causing stress, pressure and deep unhappiness.
It’s how most young people communicate and perceive the world a lot of the time. Social media can create unhealthy perspectives through the constant ‘brand-washing’ messages they’re bombarded with, not to mention image-altering apps which create the illusion of what I call ‘perfection perception’. As well as the volatility of cliques and trolls that are now so prevalent amongst users and groups.
We all know at a certain age the parent-child relationship shifts. One of the biggest stresses young people now reveal is the expectation on them to live up to their parents ideal and promote through Social Media too. Safer Internet Day 2017 revealed more than 1 in 4 children aged 10-12 years felt embarrassed, anxious or worried when their parents post pictures of them on Social Media.
Young people feel at the point of information overload, with so many messages, distractions and things to process. The elaborate distortion of news in all it’s forms makes it very stressful and overwhelming to sift through what’s real and fake. Young people are in a constant cycle of feeling naive when they’ve believed something that isn’t real and insensitive when something is real, they haven’t taken seriously, causing heightened peer judgments and criticisms.
A topic that will always be around and my belief, whilst controversial, has truth… we will never fully stop bullying. There will always be stronger/weaker, bigger/smaller and those who, out of their own weaknesses, want to control. The pressure for young people is feeling like they have no solution and there is no way out – as the advice from Parents, Schools and older generations does not suffice for the darker side of how bullying has evolved including snubs & exclusion, sexting, manipulation and cyber-bullying. We cannot control other people, what they say or do, but we can control the empowerment within ourselves with the right tools, strategies and solutions.
From Twiggy in the 60’s to today’s Victoria’s Secret Angels, body image has long been topical within society. Add into the mix the selfie generation and young people’s perception of their own body image; pressures are now higher than level.
Influencers and celebrities often portray unrealistic, unobtainable ‘beauty’, and we have also seen a big increase in boys and young men suffering.
Another huge topic for young people to navigate through is how they identify themselves. Young people are impressionable and if they are questioning their own identity it can be a confusing time for them and they may feel misunderstood and isolated if they haven’t got anyone who they can talk to.
For more information visit CHAMPS Academy: http://champs-academy.co.uk/