Mental Health and the Name of the Game

The  psychologist, Alex Russell, kicked off our “Mental Health Awareness Week” on Monday, and he offered the Upper School boys this observation:

“We are seeing a significant increase in anxiety and depression. There are kids, some as young as 7, 8, 9 years old, having panic attacks over spelling tests . Think about that for a second. Having a panic attack in Grade 3 over a test.

And even as we see this increase in anxiety, it’s important to remember that today’s kids are among the SAFEST in the history of the planet. Yet, that doesn’t stop them from being the most anxious. We have to ask ourselves why this is.

Part of this is cultural. Let me give you just one small example. The Ontario Soccer Association has said that we can no longer use the expression “soccer tournaments.” Instead, we are to call them “soccer festivals.” This change in nomenclature is based on the same flawed reasoning that tells 9 year olds that we aren’t allowed to keep score during softball games. Of course the kids keep score!

And this notion, that you can’t call a tournament a tournament or keep a score  – it is downright disrespectful. It says to kids, ‘You can’t handle competition.’ The irony is that all these policies are aimed at well intentioned by crazy parents.”


2 thoughts on “Mental Health and the Name of the Game

  1. I agree completely. But how do we help/prevent the children that are having panic attacks over spelling tests?

  2. Ha ha! Let the festivals begin.

    Happy Mother’s Day to the Power family.

    Ps those well-intentioned parents keep score, too!

    Sent from my phone

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s