Most parents agree that they want their kids to be “normal” and happy. They hope their kids will live reasonably stress free lives and succeed at whatever they choose as their life goals. Who could argue such desires?
But in spite of everyone’s best efforts, the trends aren’t particularly reassuring. Across the board, kids in today’s world appear to have more trouble than either their parents or grandparents did.
You may be aware of the fact that the diagnosis of autism has risen dramatically in the past few decades. But the same kind of surge has been occurring for anxiety disorders, depression, attention deficit disorders, behavior problems, learning problems, and about any other malady you can think of.
Incredibly, the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in kids has actually increased almost 40-fold in the past ten or twenty years (see our recent book Child Psychology and Development For Dummies for more information about all of these challenges).
We’d like to say that these disturbing rises are due to professionals becoming more adept at recognizing and diagnosing kids’ problems earlier. But most experts believe that kids today are also experiencing more problems than ever before even if you allow for the improvements in professionals’ diagnostic skills.
We don’t pretend to have all of the answers to the problem. However, in future blogs we intend write about what we call the four goals of childhood and how to help kids achieve them. We believe that careful attention to helping kids reach these goals can help stem the tide and quell the disturbing rises in children’s troubles. We’ll also discuss how we think our society, culture, and educational system may have taken the wrong approach to some of these goals. For now, we’ll just briefly note what they are:
Photo by Anthony Albright, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.
As we said, more to come…
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Last reviewed: 23 Mar 2011