It seemed to me that there are so many highly performing kids in boarding schools, that if anything the figures cited in the article would likely be even higher for the boarding school world.
I'm not certain of that. I think the boarding school model paradoxically shields kids from parental pressure to a certain extent. It's hard to pressure one's kid into academic overdrive when your only methods of contact are phone, text, email, skype.
The boarding school model is a model of the "well-rounded kid." Even the star athletes don't play their sport year-round. I have heard of some day students playing on club teams too, but that takes an enormous amount of dedication on the parents' part. I don't think it's possible to do that long-distance. (someone correct me if I'm wrong.)
My daughter's school has a really strong basketball team. A star player who graduated last year played tennis in the spring--I'm not certain he had played tennis before starting high school. In other words, even a star can't hyper-specialize.
Medication? Well, having prescribed medication in one's possession without permission is a good way to get kicked out. The schools I know restrict access to medication, even OTC allergy , cold, and headache pills.
Kids also take prescription medications to cope. I can’t find official figures, but consensus among college administrators, who get counts from their health centers, is that at least a quarter of students are taking prescription drugs for depression and anxiety.
Well, it seems doctors frequently prescribe antidepressents and anxiety medication to patients. 27 million Americans were taking the drugs in 2011. However, a tendency to develop depression can run in families. I don't think untreated depression is a good thing. Also, it may not mean the students are depressed or anxious. They could have fatigue or menstrual pain.
Antidepressants increasingly prescribed for nonpsychiatric conditions - amednews.com
When patients visit their physicians for common health issues such as fatigue, headaches and premenstrual problems, they increasingly are getting a prescription for the same type of medication. |
A study in the August issue of Health Affairs found that it is becoming more common for primary care doctors and other nonpsychiatrist physicians to prescribe antidepressants for conditions other than anxiety and major depressive disorder. The study found that between 1996 and 2007, the proportion of patient visits in which antidepressants were prescribed but no psychiatric diagnoses were noted increased from 59.5% to 72.7%.
Patients who received the drugs had complained of headaches, nonspecific pain, premenstrual tension and tiredness, among other problems.
The study shows that the uptick is being driven by a small percentage of physicians, however.
From the article:
Kids are increasingly depressed, perfectionistic, and committing suicide.
That sounds alarming, but the suicide part is not true. The curves for the 5-14 and 15-24 age groups look flat to me: AFSP: Facts and Figures: By Age
I don't think one can make one's child into a perfectionist. Really. Believe me, if that were possible, my kids would have neat rooms, perfect handwriting, and put the milk back in the fridge after they've poured a glass. Now, it could be that I'm a failure at high-pressure parenting, but I choose to believe that temperament is inborn. Also, perfectionism has historically been a good thing. Think of carpentry and needlework. The best and most useful items are created by perfectionists--measure twice and cut once, etc. We've just changed the domain in which we expect our children to excel.
This is getting very long, so I'll break it into two comments.