Loneliness is a big problem for young Americans

     A new survey of 20 thousand Americans by Cigna Health Insurance shows young people between 18 and 22 had 20 percent higher loneliness index scores than people who are 72 and over. The U.C.L.A Loneliness Scale was used to measure loneliness in the study. It's one of the more reliable ways we know of to determine how lonely a person is. 

     You might think the problem is social media but that does not appear to be the case. Young people who use social media often can have the same feelings of loneliness as those who rarely use it.

     The results of this study break my heart. Some kids are lonely and there are many reasons for it. I honestly believe it is possible to over emphasize the importance of getting good grades. There should be time for school work and kids should be encouraged to try their best. However, there should also be time for friends.

     Many years ago my stepson struggled with emotional issues. Today I realize part of the problem was me. I worried about what other people would think if he was not an A student like me. One very caring and wise teacher told me "his brain works differently than yours." If you take care of a child's mental health everything else will work out.  A few weeks later when we were meeting with the school counselor I asked: "what does my stepson need?" The answer: "Friends." 

     I never really worried about my kids grades after that. As long as they got an A, B or C things were fine. In the end one of my four kids turned out to be an A student. What's most important to me is today they all have friends and are happy.

Source: NPR 

   

Steve Andrews

Steve Andrews

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