“The lack of social development in the time of Corona kills girls mentally now.”

Is it performance pressure that is mentally killing girls in particular? Professor Emeritus of Neuropsychology Gilly Jules calls this research Healthy behavior in school age children ‘interesting’. Seventy percent of the girls in the study had psychosomatic complaints such as headaches or abdominal pain on a weekly basis, and about 50 percent of boys. “You can’t ignore that,” says Jolles. But he wonders, “Is this stress on performance in education? There is nothing parents and teachers can do about it.”

The researchers point to the pressure girls in particular to achieve high grades, move to higher levels of study and choose a more difficult academic profile as one of the main reasons. “But these trends have been going on for decades,” Jules says. “Education has already recognized that we prefer creative students who can solve problems over only students with high scores. In times of Corona, the pressure to perform hasn’t really increased.”

It is in expectations

author Get to know your child And the teenage brain He attributes mental problems in girls between 12 and 16 years mainly to the fact that girls, more often than boys, are constantly preoccupied with expectations; “Am I doing this right?” , “What does the teacher want from me?” , “What do my parents expect?”

“Their social brain is developing and is always looking for the intentions of the environment: teachers, parents and peers. This is why feedback is essential. This ensures the development of self-insight and self-regulation. As a result, the young person is increasingly able to assess the intentions of the school, parents and teacher. That is It is precisely the evolution of this neuropsychological function that has slowed down dramatically during the Covid period: due to the toxic combination of measures of aura, the isolation they engaged in and the buildup in educational material.”

“It’s a drawback for girls that they are relatively young when these functions are developing,” Jules says. “Their self-understanding is not yet sufficient, they underestimate themselves, and they are more sensitive to the intentions and expectations of their environment. This makes them more vulnerable at this stage of life than boys, for whom this becomes only a problem after one and a half to two years.”

It may take some time with this generation

Jolles speaks to several teachers who see how busy girls have been in the classroom over the past year, as well as researchers at Young people in the twenty-first century Talk about increasing aggression among girls. Jolles also attributes this to delays in development because the girls were able to gain less experience. Its development must be restored. This can be difficult if the wrong behavior must be eliminated. This may take some time with this generation of teenagers. Fortunately, the adolescent brain is a curious and social one: this gives space. But obviously we have to work with it.”

Parents and teachers don’t blame Jules: “It’s been a tough time for them too. They’ve lost sight of how best to motivate your child. They’ve become very directive. Of course it’s not crazy that you’re teaching a child if they’re late because of Corona. But if you realize that a girl whose age is Between the ages of 8 and 16 are so open about what others expect of them, you probably shouldn’t go the extra mile by expressing disappointment in the low grade.”

In the coming years, Jolles mainly sees a solution in increased attention to social and emotional skills in schools. “Our young people have had a great deal of freedom from a social point of view over the past 20 years in school. Perhaps too much. Freedom is good as long as ‘freedom in security’. This research shows that they are calling us: Help me! So, give feedback and increase The role of school psychologists and teachers: not to talk about major issues like aggression or depression, but to ensure students feel good about themselves and are therefore more open to learning.”

Read also:

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