Coping with stress and suffering is a lifelong journey. It is an inevitable part of being human. We know that like most adults, children are experiencing very high levels of stress in their lives. In our modern era, there is tremendous pressure to compete and succeed – academically, economically, and socially. Increased use of social media, despite its benefits, is linked with rising levels of depression, low self-esteem and anxiety. Bullying and traumatic exposure to interpersonal violence is a worldwide epidemic both online and off. For many children, home may also be a source of stress or discomfort as parents deal with excessive demands on their own time or may have problems of their own that, despite best intentions, tend to filter down.
This can explain why some children may engage in attention-seeking behaviors or act out in disruptive ways. Some children may avoid social activities or become resistant to going to school. Instead they may prefer an environment where they feel most safe, such as in their room, perhaps playing videogames or absorbing themselves in the Internet. Others may throw themselves into schoolwork while neglecting relationships with others, or they may turn to self- harming, drugs, or alcohol to escape the stress in their lives.