Teenagers' health in jeopardy due to pressure

Children need free time and play for healthy development. That's according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

These days, the pressure to get into college begins long before high school. It's not just grades that make students anxious, but being able to participate in enough after school activities.

"People get into college all the time and good colleges, without having to behave this way," said Marilee Jones, Dean of Admissions for MIT.

Jones said she's not looking for the perfect applicant. She's teamed up with the American Academy of Pediatrics to urge students and parents to ease up.

"The message that we're giving kids as they are growing up is they have to be good at everything," Jones said. "No wonder they're anxious."

According to Pediatrician Kenneth Ginsburg, over-involved parents are causing some teens to be less equipped to manage the transition to college. He claims some students are finding dangerous ways to handle the stress and anxiety.

"The drugs that make you feel better in seconds, the bullying that might make you feel better, even self-mutilation takes away your pain for a moment, but it's going to end up messing up your life," Ginsburg said.

Ginsburg tells teenage patients to give themselves a break, take advantage of down time and find more balance in their lives.


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