A screen-free existence
45% of teens say they are online on a "near-constant" basis. Three years ago, 24% of teens went online "almost constantly."
Gratitude for a childhood free of social media is now a common thread. Technology habits of today's children come with an increased risk of isolation, depression and other mental health issues. The more hours a day teens spend in front of screens, the less satisfied they are.
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Many people feel that time for reading was a major privilege of their childhood, where they had access to thousands of books from libraries, bookstores, or books passed along.
Reading is good for children. It makes them more literate, better at math, more academically successful. Yet, the number of children who never read for pleasure has tripled since 1984.
American children have less independence and autonomy today.
Kids who have autonomy and independence are less likely to be anxious. They are more likely to grow into self-sufficient adults.
The most valued childhood experiences of people who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s are things that the current generation of kids are far less likely to know.
What stands out is that people are nostalgic for a youthful sense of independence, connectedness, and creativity that is less common in the 21st century.
It is only as adults that we are able to recognize all the factors that made us into who we are today.
A healthy childhood is a privilege. But even children who do grow up in a stable environment may not have the kind of adventurous, family-oriented, independent childhood that should be the norm. Maybe it's time for a change.
A childhood privilege was spending regular time with parents and access to meaningful interactions with other family members, especially grandparents.
Close grandparent-child relationships have significant mental health benefits for both children and grandparents.
Various studies conducted in the U.S. population indicate growing anxiety towards a possibly grim future. Political turmoil, gun violence, global plagues, changing power structure and a widening rich-poor divide make us believe in a future that is more stressful and complicated than the present.
Our children are the most vulnerable. Depression cases among the young are climbing since the 90s. Suicidal cases among 10 to 24-year-olds have risen 56 per cent from 2007 to 2017.
It took thousands of years for the European culture to realise that a child is not an object but a human being.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote in Emile, or On Education (1762), that "nature wants children to be children before they are men." He did not see children as humans but appealed to parents to look after their offspring. However, he did not take his own ideas to heart and abandoned his offspring at birth.
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