03 December 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Stress is all-pervasive

I read with dismay the findings of a Mission Australia survey published this month.  According to the report, “the issue of greatest personal concern for young people in 2014 was coping with stress.”     This stress is said to relate to the pressures on young people in their final years of school to do well enough to meet their aspirations of career success and financial independence.  Mission’s CEO, Catherine Yeomans calls on Government to provide more support for kids as they transition from school to the workforce.  I would suggest the main reason for stressed children (and young adults) is stressed parents.  The best supports for these kids are stress free parents who can be there to listen to their children and help them through with love and encouragement.  However this is sadly lacking with so many parents tied up in long hours of paid work.  While secondary school kids are much more independent than in their primary years, their emotional needs are just as great and arguably more challenging for parents to meet.  As a result, I believe it vital that if Government is going to intervene it should be to encourage employers to offer terms of employment that allow parent (mothers AND fathers alike) to spend plenty of stress-free time with their kids.   Put another way, to allow all  employees, no matter how senior, to live “whole lives”, (a term used recently by Gail Kelly on her retirement).   Employers should restructure roles to reduce their demands so that more people can do less at work and have more time to do their bit at home.  Sure, remuneration may have to be adjusted down but more people will have jobs.

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