Reading this article about gratitude among teens, Growing Up Grateful Gives Teens Multiple Mental Health Benefits, gives me a surreal feeling.
Even if teens didn't start off with lots of gratitude, they could still benefit if they developed more gratitude over the four-year period, according to Bono.
or the purposes of the study, the authors defined grateful teens as having a disposition and moods that enabled them to respond positively to the good people and things in their lives,...
I can see how having a disposition to respond positively to the good people and things in their lives is important. But the authors totally ignore how difficult maintaining such a disposition toward their parents will be in the face of the massive betrayal teens will feel toward previous generations collectively, as the consequences of Climate Destabilization continue to unfold in higher food prices, heat waves, extreme storms, flooding, etc. As the harsh reality of a changed planet becomes ever more difficult to deny, from where will teenagers find the capacity to cherish personal good acts of love? I can see how it will be essential for them to do so, but ignoring the challenge of it makes no sense to me.
Psychology is just stuff you read when you are at university. A psychologist is someone who has read stuff and applies it in a profession or other occupation. If I psychologise, I am talking through my arse.
Stress on parents, caused by "consequences of Climate Destabilization continue to unfold in higher food prices, heat waves, extreme storms, flooding, etc." as well as confusion, unresolved conflicts, lack of trust in government, banking, laws and law enforcement, an austerity proposal that would guarantee further business losses, family dysfunction, conflict over what should be taught in schools, out of reach medical protection, loss of pension funds, and then having teenagers going through the normal separation development stage, many influences on them that could hurt them temporarily or permanently, and then trying to live with an attitude of gratitude is just too much.
Teenagers have seen prosperity, even if they haven't experienced it. They see others with expensive technical devices, cars, clothes and expect to be able to have them. Many don't have jobs, don't want jobs, can't find jobs and continue to desire "things" that jobs enable.
Sounds like recipes for anger, fear, depression, grief, resentment, and frustration to me.
Faced with making a decision to leave a marriage to a professional husband, with all the frills that go with money, power and prestige, i.e. new cars every few years, a boat, motorcycles for each child, lots of fine clothes, expensive vacations, and stuff like that, to go to a minimum wage job, not enough money to raise three ten year olds, I had to face reality. No easy way out! Strict budgets, find new ways to have fun, shop at thrift stores, (that was a hard one for the kids because they each liked to look "GOOD!") and they had learned that we only bought the "best".
Well, it was tough, we had some problems, but the only thing that worked for me was to involve the kids in creating the budget, dividing up household chores, setting goals an working toward achieving them. That was 38 years ago and all three are approaching their 50th birthdays. They are incredible human beings, involved in their communities, great parents with outstanding children and grandchildren.
WE DID IT!
I think the nation is going through what we went through 38 years ago and there were at three options, as far as I could tell.
1. Grieve because we couldn't have what we wanted;
2. Anger because we felt entitled to better;
3. Live one day at a time, face reality head on without delusion or denial, do what we could, imagine a preferred future, work like the dickens toward our vision and laugh a lot.
Climate change upsets me along with plenty of other fatalistic environmental problems...but it's an abstract. It doesn't make me hate my mom and grandparents.