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Kids stressed at TDSB

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Culture & Entertainment

Kids stressed at TDSB

According to a recent survey in the Toronto District School Board, 73% of high school kids are stressed about the future. This follows an article in the New York Times Magazine about how some kids handle stress - and some don't. The TDSB plans to come up with a mental health strategy; presumably they've read the NYT Mag piece. As a Generation X mother, I have to say that I don't believe that teenagers being stressed is new. I grew up with huge concerns about the end of the world -- imminent nuclear disaster and AIDS come to mind, as do the lyrics "How do we sleep while our beds are burning."  And one has only to look at some of the teen movies of the era like The Breakfast Club to see the theme of a bunch of stressed out kids. It is new that the school board is asking the question and coming up with a mental health strategy.  It may be new that parents see the stress as negative rather than a natural part of growing up. Or it may be new that the teens are all on Twitter letting us know about it. Since this is the first such survey, it's hard to know. What I believe also is new is the sense that parents can't mitigate the stress or reassure them it's out of place. And that, my fellow parents, is terrifying. When I was in high school and I would get upset about grades, imminent nuclear disaster, or AIDS my parents would remind me that as long as I got into a decent university, used a condom, and worked for world peace, I would be fine. In our corner of Toronto, there was a definite path to success -- education -- and at the end of that path presumably a good life.  But now with the rising costs of post-secondary education, a difficult job market and what seems like an uncertain global economy, I'm not sure I'll be able to reassure my son with quite the same oomph as my parents had when addressing my mental health. Maybe that's my out-of-proportion stress. Do you think kids are more stressed today? Do you think there is reason to be?  
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Kids stressed at TDSB

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