In recent studies, many scientists have come to find that the reason younger generations suffer from anxiety more than other generations is directly linked to social media.
While that may be the case in some instances, new findings suggest social media is not solely to blame for this epidemic.
Psychologists now believe certain parenting strategies may be causing anxiety well before children tune into these platforms; specifically when parents are overly accommodating to their children's anxiety.
Of course, parents want to protect and comfort their kids in times of struggle, but certain approaches like providing excuses or adhering to children's demands are preventing them from learning imperative coping skills needed in adulthood.
"I have had a theory for years that it is the lack of adversity that is causing the increase in teenage depression and not social media. We have always had social pressure to look good and be cool, but what we haven’t had is parents clearing the path for us or making excuses for us. It is so ironic that in a time where parents are arguably more informed, involved, and care more about a child’s happiness, that it can be to the detriment to a child’s happiness."
To clarify, this does not mean parents should be dismissive of children with anxiety, especially after traumatic events. However, a study outlined in Psychology Today found that if parents don't allow their children to be challenged, then they are less likely to fail and persist, therefore stunting their development and problem solving skills.
Furthermore, the study also revealed mothers were more likely to give in to their children by approximately 22% in comparison to fathers. Mothers were also more likely to experience anxiety and depression if their child suffered from anxiety.
Due to these findings, the psychologists' suggest that parents should not only push their children out of their comfort zone, but also be more mindful when addressing issues in order to help reduce anxiety among children.
To hear more of Justin's take on parenting, anxiety, and other topics, you can check out all of his stuff at The Dad Podcast.