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Why are our Kids so stressed? Tonight on Four Corners | @4Corners @ABCTV

ProgrammingKevin Perry

image - supplied/ABCTV

Monday 16th November at 8.30pm on ABC

Childhood and teenage angst is the stuff of legend: songs, films, books, entire careers are built on it. Parents live it, and most kids eventually get over it. Or so it was in the past.

Today, one in four Australian kids say they worry about the future constantly. Cyber bullying and depression rates are at disturbing levels. Why, at a time when we’re healthier and wealthier than ever as a nation, are our kids feeling so anxious and stressed?

“Doing well in school, getting a good job and providing for a family, if I have one.” Zach, 12.

In this touching episode, Australian kids take us inside their world to talk about their hopes, dreams and fears:

“I’m going to fail every test, apparently.” Teresa, 16

In frank, funny and sometimes heartbreaking conversations, kids aged from 12 to 19, from many different backgrounds, talk about the pressures they face:

“I felt the need to lose weight, I guess, is because I just thought it was embarrassing to be around my friends when they had good bodies and I just felt like crap about mine.” Ethan, 15

From bullying to peer pressure, supercharged by social media, to family break ups, In a world that often talks about kids or to them, this is a chance to hear what they say:

“Fathers tell boys to, you know, suck it up ... but it does all add up eventually and you can just crack.” Lliam, 15
“When looking at like, stuff online, I see lots of pressures from other people to do what they’re doing, be like them, but then I have to calm myself down and think – wait, I’m unique, I’m myself.” Teresa, 16

And in some confronting conversations, the program explores the alarming rise of self-harm and attempted suicide by talking to those who have made it to the other side:

“I think that people forget that, you know, they do have the ability to make that change and they don’t have to feel so alone in the world.” Alisha, 18

And in news that may surprise parents of teenage boys, it’s possible that those hours spent playing computer games may not be so bad after all:

‘It can teach you great skills like problem solving, thinking outside of the box ...There’s a whole host of things that can go with gaming when it’s done in a way that builds a community.” Mental Health Worker

Our Kids, reported by Quentin McDermott and presented by Kerry O’Brien, goes to air on Monday 16th Nov at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 17th Nov at 10.00am and Wednesday 18th at midnight. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm, ABC iview and at