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美国的孩子为何如此不快乐?_纽约时报中英文版_纽约时报中英文网

更新时间:2019/8/21 20:51:05 来源: 作者:佚名

We Have Ruined Childhood
美国的孩子为何如此不快乐?_纽约时报中英文版_纽约时报中英文网

According to the psychologist Peter Gray, children today are more depressed than they were during the Great Depression and more anxious than they were at the height of the Cold War. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology found that between 2009 and 2017, rates of depression rose by more than 60 percent among those ages 14 to 17, and 47 percent among those ages 12 to 13. This isn’t just a matter of increased diagnoses. The number of children and teenagers who were seen in emergency rooms with suicidal thoughts or having attempted suicide doubled between 2007 and 2015.

根据心理学家彼得·格雷(Peter Gray)的说法,如今的孩子比大萧条时期更抑郁,比冷战高峰时期更焦虑。2019年发表在《变态心理学期刊》(Journal of Abnormal Psychology)上的一项研究发觉,2009年至2017年间,14岁至17岁的青少年中,抑郁者的比例上升了60%以上,12岁至13岁的青少年中,这一比例上升了47%。这不仅仅是诊断增多的问题。2007年至2015年间,急诊室内有自杀想法或试图自杀的儿童和青少年数量翻了一番。

To put it simply, our kids are not O.K.

简单说,我们的孩子有问题了。

For a long time, as a mother and as a writer, I searched for a single culprit. Was it the screens? The food? The lack of fresh air and free time, the rise of the overscheduled, overprotected child, the overarching culture of anxiety and fear?

在很长一段时间里,作为一个母亲和一个作家,我一直在觅找一个罪魁祸首。是因为屏幕吗?是因为食物吗?还是因为缺乏新鲜空气和自由时间,日程排得太满、受过度保护的孩子越来越多,焦虑和惧怕成为压倒一切的文化?

Those things might all contribute。 But I’ve come to believe that the problems with children’s mental and emotional health are caused not by any single change in kids’ environment but by a fundamental shift in the way we view children and child-rearing, and the way this shift has transformed our schools, our neighborhoods and our relationships to one another and our communities。

这些可能都是原因。但是我开始相信,儿童心理和情感健康的问题,不是由某一种改变孩子生长环境的因素造成的,而是由我们对孩子的看法和养育孩子方式的根本性转变造成,这种转变改变了我们的学校、我们的邻居、我们之间的关系和我们的社区。

The work of raising children, once seen as socially necessary labor benefiting the common good, is an isolated endeavor for all but the most well-off parents. Parents are entirely on their own when it comes to their offspring’s well-being. Many have had to prioritize physical safety and adult supervision over healthy emotional and social development.

养育孩子的工作曾经被认为是符合公共利益的社会必要劳动,但如今除了那些最宽裕的父母之外,这项工作对所有人来说都成了孤军奋战的努力。子女的幸福完全要依靠父母。许多家庭为了孩子的人身安全和成人监督,不得不忽略他们的情感健康和社会发展。

No longer able to rely on communal structures for child care or allow children time alone, parents who need to work are forced to warehouse their youngsters for long stretches of time。 School days are longer and more regimented。 Kindergarten, which used to be focused on play, is now an academic training ground for the first grade。 Young children are assigned homework even though numerous studies have found it harmful。 STEM, standardized testing and active-shooter drills have largely replaced recess, leisurely lunches, art and music。

由于不能再依靠公共设施来照顾孩子,也不能再让孩子独处,需要工作的父母被迫把孩子长时间关起来。孩子在学校的时间更长,治理也更严格。幼儿园过去以玩耍为主,现在成了一年级的学业培训场所。尽管许多研究发觉家庭作业对孩子是有害的,但学校还是给他们布置家庭作业。STEM、标准化考试和防枪手突击演习已经在很大程度上取代了课间休息、悠闲的午餐、艺术和音乐。

The role of school stress in mental distress is backed up by data on the timing of child suicide. “The suicide rate for children is twice what it is for children during months when school is in session than when it’s not in session,” according to Dr. Gray. “That’s true for suicide completion, suicide attempts and suicidal ideation, whereas for adults, it’s higher in the summer.” But the problems with kids’ mental and emotional health are not only caused by what goes on in the classroom. They also reflect what’s happening in our communities. The scarcity of resources of every kind, including but not limited to access to mental health services, health care, affordable housing and higher education, means that many parents are working longer and harder than ever. At the same time that more is demanded of parents, childhood free time and self-directed activities have become taboo.

关于儿童自杀时间的数据支持了学校压力在精神压力中的作用。“学校开学期间的儿童自杀率是放假期间自杀率的两倍,”格雷说。“自杀未遂、有自杀妄图和自杀意念方面的数据也是如此,而成年人在夏季自杀率更高。”但孩子们的心理和情感健康问题不仅仅是由课堂上发生的事情造成的。它们也反映了我们社区正在发生的事情。包括但不限于精神卫生服务、医疗保健、经济适用房和高等教育等各种资源的匮乏,意味着许多父母比以往任何时候都要更长时间、更努力地工作。与此同时,对父母的要求越来越高,童年的自由时间和自主活动已经成为禁忌。

And so for many children, when the school day is over, it hardly matters; the hours outside school are more like school than ever. Children spend afternoons, weekends and summers in aftercare and camps while their parents work. The areas where children once congregated for unstructured, unsupervised play are now often off limits. And so those who can afford it drive their children from one structured activity to another. Those who can’t keep them inside. Free play and childhood independence have become relics, insurance risks, at times criminal offenses.

因此,对许多孩子来说,学校何时放学几乎无关紧要;校外的时间比以往任何时候都更像学校。父母工作的时候,孩子们在下午、周末和夏天都要待在托管机构和营地里。以前有很多地方可以供孩子们聚在一起,无人组织、无人监督地玩耍,现在大都已经不可行。因此,负担得起的父母会让孩子们去参加一个又一个有组织活动。负担不起的父母就只能把孩子关起来。自由玩耍和童年的独立已成为过时的保险隐患,有时还构成犯罪。

Tali Raviv, the associate director of the Center for Childhood Resilience, says many children today are suffering a social-skills deficit. She told me kids today “have fewer opportunities to practice social-emotional skills, whether it’s because they live in a violent community where they can’t go outside, or whether it’s because there’s overprotection of kids and they don’t get the independence to walk down to the corner store.” They don’t learn “how to start a friendship, how to start a relationship, what to do when someone’s bothering you, how to solve a problem.”

儿童复原力中心(Center for Childhood Resilience)副主任塔莉·拉维夫(Tali Raviv)说,现在很多孩子都缺乏社交技能。她告诉我,如今的孩子“练习社交情绪技巧的机会更少了,这可能是因为他们生活在一个暴力的社区,不能出门;也可能是因为对孩子的过度保护,让他们连走进街角商店的独立性也没有。”他们不晓道“如何开始一段友谊,如何开始一段关系,当有人打扰你时该怎么办,该怎么解决问题。”

Many parents and pediatricians speculate about the role that screen time and social media might play in this social deficit. But it’s important to acknowledge that simply taking away or limiting screens is not enough. Children turn to screens because opportunities for real-life human interaction have vanished; the public places and spaces where kids used to learn to be people have been decimated or deemed too dangerous for those under 18.

许多家长和儿科医生估量,屏幕时间和社交媒体可能在这种社交缺陷中也起来一定作用。但复要的是,要承认仅仅取消或限制屏幕是不够的。孩子们转向屏幕,是因为现实生活中与人互动的机会已经消逝;过去孩子们学习为人处世的公共场所和空间已经被大量破坏,或者被认为对18岁以下的孩子来说太危险。

And so for many Americans, the nuclear family has become a lonely institution — and childhood, one long unpaid internship meant to secure a spot in a dwindling middle class.

因此,对许多美国人来说,核心家庭已经变成了一个孤独的制度——而童年则成了一份长期无薪实习工作,用来在日渐缩小的中产阶级中谋得一席之地。

Something has to change, says Denise Pope, a co-founder of Challenge Success, an organization based in Palo Alto, Calif., that helps schools make research-backed changes to improve children’s mental health. Kids need recess. They need longer lunches. They need free play, family time, meal time. They need less homework, fewer tests, a greater emphasis on social-emotional learning.

“挑战成功”(Challenge Success)组织的联合创始人丹尼斯·波普(Denise Pope)说,有些事情必须改变,该组织位于加州帕洛阿尔托,帮助学校做出受研究结果支持的改变,以改善儿童心理健康。孩子们需要休息。他们需要更长的午餐时间。他们需要自由玩耍、家庭时间、食饭时间。他们需要更少的家庭作业、更少的考试、更强调社交情绪的学习。

Challenge Success also works with parents, encouraging them to get together with their neighbors and organize things like extracurricular-free days when kids can simply play, and teaching them how not to intervene in normal peer conflict so that children can build problem-solving skills themselves. A similar organization, Let Grow, helps schools set up unstructured free play before and after the school day.

“挑战成功”还与父母们合作,鼓励他们和邻居聚会,组织活动,比如让孩子们自由玩耍的课外时光;“挑战成功”教育父母,不要干预孩子们正常的同伴冲突,这样他们就可以自己培养解决问题的能力。Let Grow也是一个类似的组织,它帮助学校在开学前后让孩子们参加无组织的自由游戏。

Dr。 Gray told me it’s no surprise that the program, which he consults for, has been well received。 “Children are willing to get up an hour early to have free play, one hour a week,” he said。 “It’s like a drop of water if you’ve been in the desert。”

格雷为Let Grow提供咨询,他告诉我,这个项目受来好评并不令人意外。“孩子们情愿每周一次,早起一个小时自由玩耍,”他说。“如果你在沙漠里,这就像是一滴水。”

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