Those born between 1995 and 2010 are known as Generation Z.
Just like most generations that came before the Z-ers, they’re often characterized by their elders as troublemakers that have the power to lead to “the end” of humanity — the apocalypse!
However, there is much more than meets the eye with these youngsters. Just like any generation, there’s the good, the bad and the ugly. But, you may be surprised at what you find if you dig into who they are, and what they may become.
What’s the first thing, you ask…?
1. They’re Stressed Out
I, like every other parent in our school district, was quite shaken up when I received a phone call one evening in late December saying that a “threat” had been made to one of our schools. Precautions were being made and police would be present the following day on all of the school’s campuses.
Several hours later, I received a second phone call announcing that schools would be closed in light of this “threat.” This got me to thinking. \
Gen Z kids are forced to deal with stress and anxiety levels unlike those experienced by previous generations. Millennials and Generation Xers really had no reason to worry about their safety during school but since 2000, there have been more than hundreds of shootings in elementary, middle and high schools — and that’s not counting others at colleges and universities.
These facts are disturbing and tragic, and members of the youngest generation, not surprisingly, are anxious and stressed out.
Here are some stats every parent and teen should know…
A study from the American Psychological Association found that just 45% of those in Generation Z reported “excellent” or “very good” mental health, compared to 56% of Millennials, 51% of Generation Xers and 70% of Boomers.
Twenty-seven percent of Generation Z respondents called their mental health “fair” or “poor”, with stress being partly to blame and 91% of Generation Z adults said they had felt physical or emotional symptoms, such as depression and anxiety.
A whopping 75% of those in Gen Z said mass shootings were a significant source of their stress and 21% of Gen Z students said the thought of a shooting occurring at their school was a constant or frequent source of stress.
Other issues in the news, from rising suicide rates to sexual harassment to migrant family separation, also triggered more stress among Gen Z individuals than those in other generations, according to the report.
Members of Generation Z, and specifically those ages 15-21, reported the worst mental health of any generation included in the American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America report.
What else should you know about these kids?
2. No Surprise — They’re Immersed in Technology
Generation Z is growing up in a world where they can connect with their peers with the simple touch of a button, through texting, Snapchat, Instagram and other social media. This can have negative consequences.
While about half of Gen Z individuals say that social media serves as a source of support, 45% say that social media makes them feel judged and 38% say it makes them feel bad about themselves. Cyberbullying has taken bullying beyond the schoolyard and into kids’ private lives. In fact, 35% of kids have been bullied online.
On the positive side, new and emerging technologies are putting them leaps ahead of past generations in many ways. They are able to complete tasks quickly, gain access to important information quickly, and innovate in ways that past generations could only dream of.
Here’s something that may surprise some parents…