March 25, 2024

More and More Kids Fall Along The Way Side!


Jonathan Haidt has written a book titled "The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness. 

This book is well worth reading so we can determine ways to help not just teens but children coming up.

Emily Oster said this book was, “A crucial read for parents of children of elementary school age and beyond, who face the rapidly changing landscape of childhood.”

Johnathan Haidt said, "After more than a decade of stability or improvement, the mental health of adolescents plunged in the early 2010s. Rates of depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicide rose sharply, more than doubling on many measures. Why?"

That is my question too. When I was growing up we played outside. If it was during the school year, we came home got our homework done, and then went out to play. And we played until it was time to come in for supper. Every Saturday morning, we did our chores, went to the movies in the afternoon, and then came home and playing with friends in the yard until supper.

We were well rounded kids. We interacted with each other, learning how to have friendships and help each other. We were never tainted with social media, computer games and cell phone. We could actually carry on conversations at the dinner table with our parents.

There were afternoons we had band practice, piano lessons, dance lessons, baseball practice, softball practice, football practice, just to name a few I can remember. We weren't depressed, we weren't shooting each other, and we weren't secluded in our bedrooms bullying someone on social media. We had respect for our teachers, pastors, law enforcement and parents. We were just kids, having a good time playing and growing up. 

Same thing with my children and grandchildren. They were not glued to a cell phone, texting, and navagating social media. All these things, while there may be some good in them, (although not much) have hindered our children to be children.They don't know what it is to be a kid. Getting out in the yard. Breathing fresh air. Playing games with friends. Playing hoops, passing a football and other games.They are full of anxiety. You can look at our society now, children are hurting and they don't know what to do. 

As parents, we need to make sure they can be children and not push them into being adults, surrounding them with venues where they can become injured in body, soul, and mind.

In Jonathan Haidt's book, 

The Anxious Generation, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt lays out the facts about the epidemic of teen mental illness that hit many countries at the same time. He then investigates the nature of childhood, including why children need play and independent exploration to mature into competent, thriving adults. Haidt shows how the “play-based childhood” began to decline in the 1980s, and how it was finally wiped out by the arrival of the “phone-based childhood” in the early 2010s. He presents more than a dozen mechanisms by which this “great rewiring of childhood” has interfered with children’s social and neurological development, covering everything from sleep deprivation to attention fragmentation, addiction, loneliness, social contagion, social comparison, and perfectionism. He explains why social media damages girls more than boys and why boys have been withdrawing from the real world into the virtual world, with disastrous consequences for themselves, their families, and their societies.

We can help change the lives of our children for the good. "Susan Reichert"

Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University's Stern School of Business. He received his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992 and then did post-doctoral research at the University of Chicago and in Orissa, India. He taught at the University of Virginia for 16 years before moving to NYU-Stern in 2011. He was named one of the "top global thinkers" by Foreign Policy magazine, and one of the "top world thinkers" by Prospect magazine.

His research focuses on morality - its emotional foundations, cultural variations, and developmental course. He began his career studying the negative moral emotions, such as disgust, shame, and vengeance, but then moved on to the understudied positive moral emotions, such as admiration, awe, and moral elevation. He is the co-developer of Moral Foundations theory, and of the research site He is a co-founder of, which advocates for viewpoint diversity in higher education. He uses his research to help people understand and respect the moral motives of their enemies (see, and see his TED talks). He is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom; The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion; and (with Greg Lukianoff) The Coddling of the American Mind: How good intentions and bad ideas are setting a generation up for failure. For more information see

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