There’s a huge amount of pressure on teenagers to succeed at school and on the sports field – from their teachers, parents, and themselves. As parents, we want the best for our kids, and it’s surprisingly easy to put too much pressure on them. That’s why it’s important to know when you’re being supportive, or demanding.
A study at the John Hopkins University in California revealed that 92 percent of the parents felt it was important for their children to excel in school, while 39 percent of students felt there was too much pressure on them.
Too much pressure damages a child’s self-esteem, and can lead to severe consequences, including depression. It can lead to stress, causing headaches, stomach aches, neck-aches, lack of sleep, and even anxiety attacks. When students don’t meet their parents’ expectations, it creates a sense of worthlessness, which was discovered to be one of the chief reasons why teenage suicide rates quadrupled from the 1950s, according to a study done at The University of St. Thomas.
A research group discovered that there were ‘no academic advantages for children from highly academic environments, and potential disadvantages in creative expression and emotional well-being’ (Kathy Hirsh’s et al 1990). Pressure doesn’t aid children in performing well at school; in fact, it can do exactly the opposite, and obliterate the child’s character.
The focus shouldn’t be placed on academic success, but developing their passion for learning. Parents need to support their child and give regular praise when they accomplish something they feel proud of.
This way, children learn to aim for success for themselves, and not just their parents.