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Ear to the Ground

Stressed Kids Fret About the World

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Posted on Oct 11, 2007
stressed kid
nydailynews.com

A study of 7-to-11-year-old Brits found that the climate crisis and terrorism have added to the usual pressures of school and friendships to drive kids batty. Luckily, schools that engaged world-weary children with lessons and activities related to global catastrophe managed to alleviate some of the tension.


Guardian:

Pupils feared the world outside their school gate - those in urban areas were particularly worried about violent crime although parents’ biggest fear for their children was traffic accidents.

Researchers found that pupils in schools which tackled the problems they worried about, such as those with eco-clubs and recycling schemes to teach children about environmental problems, were happier.

“Where schools had started engaging children with global and local realities as aspects of their education they were noticeably more upbeat. In several schools children were involved in environmental projects and the sense that ‘we can do something about it’ seemed to make all the difference,” they write.

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By thomas billis, October 13, 2007 at 10:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If the kid in the picture is upset now wait until he gets old enough to realize the world our generation is going to leave him.Hopefully the science in anti depressants will catch up to the reality of the depressing causing world.I have read that picture is a little old. A photographer had just told him George W Bush was relected.Don’t feel bad kid that is the way I looked also.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, October 13, 2007 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

Remember the film clips of those trees and buildings being vaporized by the A-bomb explosion?  I was always so glad they found out that if a little kid threw his right arm around the back of his neck and crouched down under his desk, he’d be ok to go home for dinner that night.  Your government at work through Civil Defense!

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By TomChicago, October 13, 2007 at 4:41 am Link to this comment

Obviously we were impressed enough by the Bomb drills of yesteryear to still be talking about and remembering them.  We turn our kids into neurotics with the devastation the current generation has perpetrated.  Hopefully, though, the kids will grow up, rediscover patchouly and start singing about revolution again.

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By Douglas Chalmers, October 12, 2007 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Anxiety = Stress = Exhaustion = Depression

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By Mariam Russell, October 12, 2007 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good practice for them. Rehersal for living in the world crafted by their parents and grandparents.

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By Douglas Chalmers, October 12, 2007 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

Back in the 1950’s-60’s, it was “the bomb” and fear of the Russians or the Chinese and the “cold war”. It never occurred to Americans that the fact that they were threatening Russia and China with their own H-bombs was making everything worse - and that they were in a state of fear, too.

The real problem is in the parents’ minds. They radiate anxiety onto their children. Of course, it comes through the media and the politicians. Everbody is being manipulated one way or another. But this generation of kids is growing up with a generation of parents who didn’t have it as kids themselves - but the grandparents did.

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By Rowdyguy, October 12, 2007 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I thought I had registered on this site as Rowdy, but apparently someone took over my username… hmmm…?

Dear Lifewriter,
Instead of a board game, how about taking the kids on a nature walk or bike ride or even to the beach to just sit and look at nature and try to explain how everything in nature is interdependent.  We can’t live without clean air and water.

I too remember duck and cover… waste of time.  Today, children are much more sophisticated and should be given real facts about the world around them and teach them to reduce, re-use, and recycle.

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By Paracelsus, October 12, 2007 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

It is more like the schools are scaring the kids. What are they going to do next? Run a fake terror drill and then throw fake blood on them? Oh yeah that’s been done already. Really! Here’s a question: why are the moons of Jupiter experiencing lunar warming. Polar ice caps all over the solar system are melting. I think NASA and the EPA should worry about carbon credits for Europa.

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By Conservative Yankee, October 12, 2007 at 6:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In order of perceived (7 to 10-year-old) importance;
From University of Maine Child Rearing manual 2006:
1.) Losing a parent
2.) not being popular
3.) wetting pants in school
4.) Getting lost
5.) moving away from friends
6.) fire
7.) divorce
8.) stranger abduction
9.) fights between parental figures
10.)The dark

War is not listed in the top 100 fears which also include (among others)Spiders, snakes, bees, teenagers, dentists, shots, and loneliness.


I find the act of using children to “set an agenda” repulsive.

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By lifewriter, October 12, 2007 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

What might seem like an innocent child worried about things he or she cannot understand has come in to focus as something more of a vivid portrait of a population that’s aware of today’s dangers…in addition to obviously succumbing to media conditioning that propagates circumstances like these.  Kids are worried.  That I do not doubt.  But where are the messages in the kids toys, in the video games, in the mass marketing that speak to the alternative?  Nowhere.  Is it any wonder, therefore that today’s child might be a little paranoid?  The absence of “solution messaging” is a product of contemporary marketing genius that places children as the single biggest target in message delivery.  Entire promotion campaigns for items that are not at all designed to be used by kids are aimed at children with the sole intention of creating a platform for conversation / consideration of a given campaign at the dinner table, in the house.

So since today’s children are so heavily soaked with such marketing pressures, I suggest, right now, you turn off your computer, unplug your cable box, and break out a board game…get to know your children again…and hold them to you, promising to never let the lies of capitalism infiltrate their hearts and minds again.

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By lifewriter, October 12, 2007 at 6:09 am Link to this comment

What might seem like an innocent child worried about things he or she cannot understand has come in to focus as something more of a vivid portrait of a population that’s aware of today’s dangers…in addition to obviously succumbing to media conditioning that propagates circumstances like these.  Kids are worried.  That I do not doubt.  But where are the messages in the kids toys, in the video games, in the mass marketing that speak to the alternative?  Nowhere.  Is it any wonder, therefore that today’s child might be a little paranoid?  The absence of “solution messaging” is a product of contemporary marketing genius that places children as the single biggest target in message delivery.  Entire promotion campaigns for items that are not at all designed to be used by kids are aimed at children with the sole intention of creating a platform for conversation / consideration of a given campaign at the dinner table, in the house.

So since today’s children are so heavily soaked with such marketing pressures, I suggest, right now, you turn off your computer, unplug your cable box, and break out a board game…get to know your children again…and hold them to you, promising to never let the lies of capitalism infiltrate their hearts and minds again.

http://www.democracynow.org

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By smudgefinny, October 12, 2007 at 4:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Shock Doctrine.  The game the whole family can play.

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By still confused, October 12, 2007 at 4:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

oh, it isn’t the government’s fault we are so scared and unhappy. it’s US! fear and dissatisfaction are the very stuff of our marrow.

it’s the best argument for God, in fact - what but a Creator can explain the existence of a Being so Perfectly miserable?

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, October 12, 2007 at 3:39 am Link to this comment

The kid in the picture probably just screwed up his video game while a reporter, anxious about meeting a story deadline, happened on him and had the photographer snap the shot. Or he’s got fast food gas pains. This picture would be great for a Head-On ad.  Agreed, Nikto #106437, fear your government. Wouldn’t it be a step in the right direction to teach kids how to filter the BS out of their lives—Gov. BS, Madison Ave. BS, Church BS, School BS, Parent BS, etc.  It’s really a BS world.  Bullies are one thing, Bullshit quite another and maybe a lot worse.

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By nikto, October 11, 2007 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m old enough to remember duck & cover drills.

Even as 8 or 9 year olds, most of us knew
it was bullshit.

Kids today need to fear the right things…

Like their Government!

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By Verne Arnold, October 11, 2007 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

#106426 by rowdy on 10/11 at 8:45 pm
(189 comments total)

isn’t this sad poor. little school kids stressed out by their governments. nobody seemed too concerned 50 years when i was 10 and millions of other children just like me were told to “duck and cover”. weekly drills when we were herded out to waiting buses,that took us nowhere,but made everyone so scared we cried and pissed our pants. more than once, when outside the classroom door i hauled ass running for home.

Isn’t it amazing how things have not changed?  I well remember the 50”s; duck and cover, lay in the gutter, etc.  As if any of that would help.  Here we are 60 years later still spewing the same fear mongering garbage.  We change one devil for another as easily as we change our underwear.  How is it we allow this to happen over and over again: I mean, it has been going on forever; far longer than 60 years.  All of the warnings from respected people and still we swallow this toxic mix.

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By rowdy, October 11, 2007 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

isn’t this sad poor. little school kids stressed out by their governments. nobody seemed too concerned 50 years when i was 10 and millions of other children just like me were told to “duck and cover”. weekly drills when we were herded out to waiting buses,that took us nowhere,but made everyone so scared we cried and pissed our pants. more than once, when outside the classroom door i hauled ass running for home. if i was going to die, at least it was going to be with my family. my parents were summoned and told that i didn’t have the right attitude,that i wasn’t acting responsibly. as if the idiots in charge of “civil defense” really believed,jacksonville, one of the most important naval bases in the country wasn’t going to be nuked out of existence. i want WWIII. it was promised to me 50 years ago and i am tired of waiting. as bush said “bring it on”.

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