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2 Things That Child Therapists Say Harms Kids' Happiness The Most

The most recent Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey data, from 2021, show that suffering only increasing. The percentage of high schoolers who considered suicide rose again, from 18.8% in 2019 to 22.2%, and the percentage who attempted suicide rose from 8.9% to 10.2% in that two-year period.



What’s behind these startling numbers? For one thing, there is the ubiquity of social media, permeating every aspect of kids’ lives. Data indicates a correlation between social media use and mental health concerns, especially for teen girls


There is also our unrelenting grind culture, pressuring kids at earlier ages to achieve and succeed at every undertaking so they can, in theory, eventually climb the ladder to wealth and a life free from worry.


It sounds counterintuitive, but when HuffPost asked child psychologists about the biggest threats to kids’ happiness today, they all mentioned parents’ relentless pursuit of their kids’ happiness — and how it can be counterproductive to their children’s well-being in the long term.


First, in presuming that kids are supposed to be happy all the time, we sometimes deprive them of opportunities to learn to cope with the full spectrum of human emotions in healthy ways. 


Second, in focusing so hard on our kids’ achievements and praising their success, we run the risk of them not knowing that we love and value them unconditionally.


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