Can kids handle life’s ups and downs?
In an age of busy schedules and multiple demands on family time, kids’ mental well-being is a top concern of Canadian parents, trumping emotional, social and physical well-being in terms of importance. According to Taking the Pulse of Canada’s Kids: A Landmark Study on Physical, Social, Emotional and Mental Well-being, released by Companies Committed to Kids (CCK), parents see resiliency as a critical life skill, and rate the ability to cope with life’s ups and downs as the most important aspects of their child’s mental well-being.
The national study polled Canadian parents of kids 8-12, as well as the kids themselves, on their perceptions related to four key pillars of childhood wellness. It found that while parents want more support across all areas of child wellness, their greatest need is in the area of their kids’ mental well-being.
“Today, more than ever, we need to help our children develop resiliency and coping skills to deal with life’s ups and downs,” says Dr. Debra Pepler, Scientific Co-Director of PREVNet and Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at York University. “For children, an inability to cope with the stresses and anxieties in their young lives can affect their overall wellness, even as they grow into adulthood. Parents and other significant adults need to provide encouragement and support to help children learn a wide range of skills and buffer the stresses they inevitably encounter.”
• 45 per cent of parents rank ‘having the emotional skills to cope with life’s ups and downs’ as the number one factor important to their child’s mental well-being.
• Parent ratings for girls are significantly higher than boys in many wellness areas, including handling life’s ups and downs (20 per cent vs. 15 per cent), knowing how to manage stress (17 per cent vs. 10 per cent) and demonstrating perseverance (35 per cent vs. 27 per cent).
• Canadian parents indicate a need for more support in the mental wellness area (51 per cent), in the emotional wellness area (40 per cent), in the social area (40 per cent), and in the physical area (36 per cent).
• The most valuable forms of support identified among parents range from links to issue experts, simple tips, tools & strategies and help opening up discussions.
Companies Committed to Kids (formerly Concerned Children’s Advertisers) is a unique non-profit organization and model of corporate social responsibility. Their 17 Canadian member companies are committed to understanding and contributing solutions to challenging issues that impact children, including healthy active living, bullying prevention, media literacy, and mental wellness. cck-eee.ca
Reprinted with permission from Companies Committed to Kids.