We are Losing our Kids

 

After listening to the screed of Greta Thunberg, recently discussed in a post by @exjon, as well as reading the comments by alarmed members of Ricochet, I felt compelled to speak about the the distortions that are being presented to our kids and the effect it is having on them. If this young woman, who had clearly been propagandized and therefore abused by her parents, was any example of the mindset of our own children, we are all in deep trouble. The teens of today, of course, are our future. And they are seriously struggling with the possibility of a very dark future, even exhibiting mental illness.

I wanted to know the role of mental illness, in particular anxiety, depression and suicide in the lives of our teenagers, and how these factors might affect their mindset. You have likely heard stories regularly about teens committing suicide; the reasons are many, and include the following factors:

  • family history of suicide attempts

  • exposure to violence

  • impulsivity

  • aggressive or disruptive behavior

  • access to firearms

  • bullying

  • feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, acute loss or rejection

(bold lettering is mine)

I also learned the following:

Suicides among young people continue to be a serious problem. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for children, adolescents, and young adults age 15-to-24-year-olds.

The majority of children and adolescents who attempt suicide have a significant mental health disorder, usually depression.

The data that especially piqued my attention was that there is a connection among the experience of anxiety, depression and suicide. One CDC study listed types of anxiety disorders:

  • Being very afraid when away from parents (separation anxiety)

  • Having extreme fear about a specific thing or situation, such as dogs, insects, or going to the doctor (phobias)

  • Being very afraid of school and other places where there are people (social anxiety)

  • Being very worried about the future and about bad things happening (general anxiety)

  • Having repeated episodes of sudden, unexpected, intense fear that come with symptoms like heart pounding, having trouble breathing, or feeling dizzy, shaky, or sweaty (panic disorder)

(bold lettering is mine)

We’ve now raised a couple of generations that are suffering from extreme anxiety, often leading to depression, with the potential for suicidal acts. As I listen to the words and watch the actions of extreme fear, sometimes panic, helplessness and hopelessness for a future expressed by our young people, I look at them and wonder if the Left has any idea what it is doing. Do they know that they are tampering with the emotional well-being of our children? Do they know that in their compulsion to goad these young people into anti-social actions, they are creating future adults with mental illness?

I’m cynical enough to believe that they actually know what they are doing. If our young people feel that the only way they can save the planet is to hate and destroy the bulwarks of society, do they understand that chaos and destruction and lawlessness may be hovering on the other side? Has the Left been so persuasive in spite of their distortions and invented facts that our children have more faith in them than in their parents? Have they convinced our children that together they can all save the earth?

Instead of teachers and schools being our partners in raising our kids, they are abetting this future disaster. They, too, may be victims not only of the propaganda, but of the same mental illnesses of anxiety, depression and suicide.

The only hope I have to deal with these issues is to recognize early what these young people might be going through. Look for the signs of anxiety, depression and potential suicide, rather than assume these children are going through a phase. Let them know there are resources to help them. Expose them to experiences that can remind them there are things they can do to change the world for the better. Give them materials that can put the climate questions in perspective, including the history of the issue and the lack of disastrous outcomes. Talk to them (even though teens are often withdrawn and silent). We owe it to them to be up front with these issues.

We owe it to the world.

The last thing we need are more Greta Thunbergs.

 

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I just received this wonderful source of information by Scott Adams that my husband sent to me. It’s a place to start!

    • #1
  2. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    The left has always indoctrinated the kids. So many people are home schooling for that reason. 

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    The left has always indoctrinated the kids. So many people are home schooling for that reason.

    And I’m glad they are! But I assume that the kids are not always at home, @phcheese. The opportunities for exposure to this junk is everywhere!

    • #3
  4. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    This is good background on Greta.  Even by the standards of high anxiety, this girl is off the charts, and her parents are fully culpable.

    https://quillette.com/2019/04/23/self-harm-versus-the-greater-good-greta-thunberg-and-child-activism/

    • #4
  5. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    What is this “we”? My kids are okay and are now functioning adults. Dad may have occasional feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, acute loss or rejection*, but they do not.  Janet and I did not raise them that way. Neither does my younger brother’s niece. He did not raise her that way, either. My older brother’s kids? Not so much, but the youngest one is staying with me after relocating to Houston for a job. My sons and I are curing him of the pernicious effects of his public school education. (He is 25.)

    It is up to parents to ensure their kids do not buy into the BS peddled in the schools and popular media. It is THEIR JOB. It starts in the home and that means parents have to spend time with their kids and not rely on others to raise their kids.  The government wants dependent serfs and not independent citizens. They are easier to control. And things started going south with the establishment of a federal Department of Education centralized education in the hands of people invested in top-down government and really went open loop once we nationalized education with “No Child Left Behind.”

    The solution is obvious – push education back to individual community control. It is not gonna happen though. Best bet is home schooling or private schools with traditional values. And sacrificing that vacation, new car, electronic toys, etc. to pay for them.

     

    * As anyone might have after losing a beloved spouse of 40+ years. But I am not allowing it to cripple me.

    • #5
  6. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Like in the book 1984, the Winston Smiths of the world can’t know how many other Winston Smiths there are when the pervasive narrative is what it is and anyone not mouthing the platitudes or doing virtue signaling is punished. But be assured there are Winston Smiths. We just need to give them space to come out into the light when they emerge from the incubator — provide real safe spaces for them to live in common sense ways.

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    What is this “we”? My kids are okay and are now functioning adults. Dad may have occasional feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, acute loss or rejection*, but they do not. Janet and I did not raise them that way. Neither does my younger brother’s niece. He did not raise her that way, either. My older brother’s kids? Not so much, but the youngest one is staying with me after relocating to Houston for a job. My sons and I are curing him of the pernicious effects of his public school education. (He is 25.)

    I debated using “we,” @seawriter, knowing there were fine parents as you and Janet were. But I see that you also reached out to your nephew and feel a responsibility to guide him, not just be a place to stay. There may be times when all of us have a chance to influence kids in our lives, kids we feel connected to or care about. When we have the chance to make a difference, I hope we follow your efforts. Thanks.

    Edit: Kudos for your efforts to stay on track even though you had devastating losses. You show us how resilience and determination work.

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Like in the book 1984, the Winston Smiths of the world can’t know how many other Winston Smiths there are when the pervasive narrative is what it is and anyone not mouthing the platitudes or doing virtue signaling is punished. But be assured there are Winston Smiths. We just need to give them space to come out into the light when they emerge from the incubator — provide real safe spaces for them to live in common sense ways.

    As I said to @seawriter, not eveey kid has been poisoned by the dogma. But they are still potential victims of the environment. And yes, we need to be ready to help them when they show up. Thanks, @rodin.

    • #8
  9. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    This is good background on Greta. Even by the standards of high anxiety, this girl is off the charts, and her parents are fully culpable.

    https://quillette.com/2019/04/23/self-harm-versus-the-greater-good-greta-thunberg-and-child-activism/

    Wow!  I encourage everyone to read that article.  The last paragraph is a great summary:

    “Greta was recently named ”Woman of the Year” by a Swedish newspaper. But she is not a woman, she is a child. It is time we stopped to ask if we are using her, failing her, and even sacrificing her, for what we perceive to be a greater good.”

    That teenagers like Greta and David Hogg are thrilled to be used makes the adults using them no less abusive.  

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    This is good background on Greta. Even by the standards of high anxiety, this girl is off the charts, and her parents are fully culpable.

    https://quillette.com/2019/04/23/self-harm-versus-the-greater-good-greta-thunberg-and-child-activism/

    Wow! I encourage everyone to read that article. The last paragraph is a great summary:

    “Greta was recently named ”Woman of the Year” by a Swedish newspaper. But she is not a woman, she is a child. It is time we stopped to ask if we are using her, failing her, and even sacrificing her, for what we perceive to be a greater good.”

    That teenagers like Greta and David Hogg are thrilled to be used makes the adults using them no less abusive.

    I am frightened for her. I don’t think her story will end well. And I’m not talking about climate change.

    • #10
  11. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    This is good background on Greta. Even by the standards of high anxiety, this girl is off the charts, and her parents are fully culpable.

    https://quillette.com/2019/04/23/self-harm-versus-the-greater-good-greta-thunberg-and-child-activism/

    Wow! I encourage everyone to read that article. The last paragraph is a great summary:

    “Greta was recently named ”Woman of the Year” by a Swedish newspaper. But she is not a woman, she is a child. It is time we stopped to ask if we are using her, failing her, and even sacrificing her, for what we perceive to be a greater good.”

    That teenagers like Greta and David Hogg are thrilled to be used makes the adults using them no less abusive.

    @she put me on to that article this morning.

    • #11
  12. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I am frightened for her. I don’t think her story will end well. And I’m not talking about climate change.

    She will probably end up committing suicide. I know that sounds cold, but I have seen it happen too many times to mentally ill people who embrace messianic causes. I can rattle off examples over hundreds of years. (Nero was one early example. Abby Hoffman is a more recent one.)

    An intervention by her parents could prevent this, but they are enjoying the ride too much. 

    • #12
  13. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    It’s a catch-22. If I accept the left’s worldview, I have to believe that an apocalypse is nigh. If I reject the left’s worldview, I have to live among people who believe that an apocalypse is nigh.

    Which one is worse?

    • #13
  14. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    This is good background on Greta. Even by the standards of high anxiety, this girl is off the charts, and her parents are fully culpable.

    https://quillette.com/2019/04/23/self-harm-versus-the-greater-good-greta-thunberg-and-child-activism/

    Wow. Holy cow. 

    What a story. 

    • #14
  15. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    It’s a catch-22. If I accept the left’s worldview, I have to believe that an apocalypse is nigh. If I reject the left’s worldview, I have to live among people who believe that an apocalypse is nigh.

    Which one is worse?

    Better to live among crazies than to be crazy.

    • #15
  16. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    It’s a catch-22. If I accept the left’s worldview, I have to believe that an apocalypse is nigh. If I reject the left’s worldview, I have to live among people who believe that an apocalypse is nigh.

    What’s worse? I’m not sure.

    To live with a veil over your eyes. The truth shall set you free. Yes, freedom’s hard, but it’s good for the soul.

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    It’s a catch-22. If I accept the left’s worldview, I have to believe that an apocalypse is nigh. If I reject the left’s worldview, I have to live among people who believe that an apocalypse is nigh.

    Which one is worse?

    I agree with @seawriter #15. Better to tolerate their craziness and limit my exposure than lose my own mind.

    • #17
  18. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Better to tolerate their craziness and limit my exposure than lose my own mind.

    Wait, that was an option?

    • #18
  19. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Susan Quinn: If this young woman, who had clearly been propagandized and therefore abused by her parents, was any example…

    By some accounts, it’s more that Greta has propagandized the rest of her family than the other way around. Then her problem wouldn’t be so much her parents “using her” as their indulging her rigid obsessions. Fortunately, her family is far from the norm, even these days.

    As someone who’s struggled with suicidality off and on, I’m leery to attribute too much of it to a particular politics. Certainly, one’s immediate social climate matters. But that’s often irrespective of the larger political climate. Indeed, many who worry the most about the world as a whole do so because they have the luxury of not having to worry about more immediate concerns.

    It’s possible to be pretty optimistic about society as a whole, yet nonetheless pessimistic about the worth of one’s own continued life.

    I gather most people don’t have to be convinced that where there’s life, there’s hope, and that they themselves deserve to live. Indeed, believing you deserve to live seems like the minimum bar to clear for a healthy ego. And, coming from that perspective, it might seem like the problem with suicide is it rejects life as not being good enough for you. Rather than that you’re not good enough to deserve life, which, if you ask many suicidal, is how they really feel.

    Conservatives believe in earning your livelihood. Since you do not deserve to live at anyone else’s expense, you must earn your right to live. So… what if your earning fails?… Well, for a while you can try harder. But when all else fails, arranging it so you’re not alive anymore is one way to discharge your debt to conservative expectations. Now, maybe that sounds like an unfair characterization of the conservative mindset — wanting people to earn their livelihood is not the same as saying they should die if they don’t. To a suicidal mind, though…

    And maybe that’s why I’m leery of attaching suicidality to any particular politics. Because once we go down that road, our politics is hardly immune, either.

    • #19
  20. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    By some accounts, it’s more that Greta has propagandized the rest of her family than the other way around.

    But, they are the supposed adults.

    • #20
  21. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    That teenagers like Greta and David Hogg are thrilled to be used makes the adults using them no less abusive

    My son and I were talking about the power of sacrifice in conjunction with The Black Cauldron, and after three re-writings, he still didn’t peg it as “self-sacrifice”… I was thinking of jumping in and explaining why that’s important.

    Through time, humans have sacrificed to the gods slaves, children, and virgins – the virgins, especially, are the ones who have been cultivated to believe this is a wonderful honor and would possibly go willingly.

    Greta and David are the virgins.

    A lot of what is going on feels like human sacrifice, cultish behavior, and manipulated fanaticism. It’s like they’ve done this before…

    • #21
  22. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    And maybe that’s why I’m leery of attaching suicidality to any particular politics. Because once we go down that road, our politics is hardly immune, either.

    I think it would more be like the left is taking advantage of vulnerable people. 

    The suicidal ideation makes her vulnerable and therefore a target rather than the leftist brain-washing making her suicidal.

    • #22
  23. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Bill Nye the Science Guy debated Tucker Carlson and got beaten like a gong.

    So if halfwits won’t work, try a kid instead. A kid with significant mental challenges. A kid that hasn’t finished high school yet.

    Yeah, that is who I want advising the country on economic and scientific policy.

    • #23
  24. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Words of wisdom

    • #24
  25. Kim K. Inactive
    Kim K.
    @KimK

    If this young woman, who had clearly been propagandized and therefore abused by her parents,

    This may not be the main thrust of your post, but, how do you decide that what parents teach their children is propagandizing? I am an evangelical Christian and have brought up my children with my belief “system.” I understood that when they came of age my belief system would not carry them and they had to make a decision of their own. However, does that mean they were “propagandized and therefore abused by [their] parents?” 

    I have a lot of issues with Greta and her parents. However, I would not want to issue a blanket statement that parents passing on their beliefs to their children is, de facto, propaganda and therefore child abuse.

    • #25
  26. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Words of wisdom

    I have no memory of this passage in Analects (though some Confucian remarks are probably preserved in other books I’ve spent less time in).

    But it’s Confucian enough.  Not a bad paraphrase of some themes from Mencius (probably the second-biggest Confucian philosopher after Confucius himself).

    • #26
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Kim K. (View Comment):

    If this young woman, who had clearly been propagandized and therefore abused by her parents,

    This may not be the main thrust of your post, but, how do you decide that what parents teach their children is propagandizing? I am an evangelical Christian and have brought up my children with my belief “system.” I understood that when they came of age my belief system would not carry them and they had to make a decision of their own. However, does that mean they were “propagandized and therefore abused by [their] parents?”

    I have a lot of issues with Greta and her parents. However, I would not want to issue a blanket statement that parents passing on their beliefs to their children is, de facto, propaganda and therefore child abuse.

    @kimk, my OP said nothing about religion, nor did I say anything about passing on beliefs in general . I thought it was clear that I was speaking about the political Left and all their propaganda about transgenderism and gender fluidity, climate change, open borders, and those kinds of Leftist issues. I’m Jewish myself, and I have no problem at all with parents raising their children in a religion. I congratulate you for raising yours as evangelical Christians.

    • #27
  28. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Words of wisdom

    I have no memory of this passage in Analects (though some Confucian remarks are probably preserved in other books I’ve spent less time in).

    But it’s Confucian enough. Not a bad paraphrase of some themes from Mencius (probably the second-biggest Confucian philosopher after Confucius himself).

    I cannot help seeing these sorts of if / then wisdom quotes without also wanting to quote Terry Pratchett.

    If you set a fire for a man, you keep him warm for a night.  If you set a man on fire you keep him warm for the rest of his life.

    Carry on…

    • #28
  29. Kim K. Inactive
    Kim K.
    @KimK

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Kim K. (View Comment):

    If this young woman, who had clearly been propagandized and therefore abused by her parents,

    This may not be the main thrust of your post, but, how do you decide that what parents teach their children is propagandizing? I am an evangelical Christian and have brought up my children with my belief “system.” I understood that when they came of age my belief system would not carry them and they had to make a decision of their own. However, does that mean they were “propagandized and therefore abused by [their] parents?”

    I have a lot of issues with Greta and her parents. However, I would not want to issue a blanket statement that parents passing on their beliefs to their children is, de facto, propaganda and therefore child abuse.

    @kimk, my OP said nothing about religion, nor did I say anything about passing on beliefs in general . I thought it was clear that I was speaking about the political Left and all their propaganda about transgenderism and gender fluidity, climate change, open borders, and those kinds of Leftist issues. I’m Jewish myself, and I have no problem at all with parents raising their children in a religion. I congratulate you for raising yours as evangelical Christians.

    My point isn’t really limited to religion, even though I used that as an example. Parents will pass on to their children what they think is important, be it religion, politics, climate, gender fluidity, open borders, trangenderism, etc. You did state that the girl was clearly propagandized and therefore abused. In the Thunberg case, if the parents held certain positions and passed their convictions on to their children, does that meet your definition of propagandizing and therefore child abuse? Does the political Right pass on cherished values but the political Left only pass on “propaganda”?

    I think the parents have acted despicably by letting their mentally challenged child be thrust onto the world stage where she is open to ridicule and also false adulation because she is mouthing what certain people want to hear. No one really cares about Greta, the person. That is where I think these parents have utterly failed.

    • #29
  30. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret
    @CarolJoy

    I noticed that nowhere on the list of determinants for depression and suicide among our teens and young adults was there a mention of a connection to nature.

    Nature offers one of the more intense healing experiences that a human can experience. I buffered my own depression while living in the SF Big City Bay area by hiking almost all day at least once each week on Mt Tamalpais in Marin. I never feel alone when I am in nature, whereas I often feel alone if I am in a big city.

    I think that people, especially our young, have a higher likelihood of being sane if they have the ability to unwind in nature. Our accelerated schedules, such that teens are always on a treadmill of class rooms, studies, extra curricular activities, so they can go on to college and continue  with that treadmill makes including nature difficult.

     

    • #30

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