In just the past few years, children have had to mature into teen-like thought at earlier and earlier ages. Because of the onslaught of social media and other data available to younger and younger children, we can no longer control the narrative of what information, good or bad, our children are exposed to.
So, children as young as eight-years-old are prematurely self-conscious, over-stressed, and overwhelmed. They are developmentally unprepared for so much of the flood of information, thought and emotion they face, and this drives unprecedented anxiety, depression, and even hopelessness in our kids. So, in many ways, saving “teen parenting” for thirteen is now several years too late.
Much of the shift being described involves an increase in psychological suffering among our young people. Dr. Duffy work with these children many hours a day. The new patterns are not vague. The shift is abundantly clear. And the fallout is overwhelming at best, but devastating in the extreme. Let’s review some of the grim realities:
- Children report strikingly more stress now than ever before.
- Poor self-esteem, and a higher degree of self-loathing, is reported by children now more than ever before.
- Body image issues are far more prevalent now than ever before, and at shockingly early ages.
- Suicide rates are skyrocketing among young people. This is an alarming, rapidly increasing trend.
- We have seen a precipitous rise in school shootings, and other mass shootings, by young people.
As parents, we are not powerless to guide our children through the rough waters of a clearly extended adolescence. We need to be available, but we also need to be informed about what our children are going through. None of us ever went through our teen years the way our children are doing so now. We have to actively learn the nature of their world, and engage with them, around every difficult issue, in far more open and deeper ways than ever before. Parenting well, today, requires courage. This book presents layers of practical, urgent advice for all parents. Based on his experience, Dr. John Duffy will lift the veil from the puzzle of parenting a child in today’s often overwhelming circumstances. He will help you revise your parenting plan, and bring the joy back into parenting your child. And with you as ally, guide and consultant, your child will have the opportunity to successfully traverse the crowded, confusing highway of childhood and adolescence.