Parental pressure puts kids over the edge


Every student feels some form of pressure to do well by his or her parent or guardian but sometimes that pressure can become overwhelming.

“My parents put a lot of pressure on me. I have good grades, but they’re always pushing me to do better,” says Rowan Henke, junior. “They have encouraged, and sometimes forced, me and my siblings to participate in certain sports and extracurricular activities.”

For some parents, the standard is nothing less than perfect. They want their student to get good grades, to be an athlete and to be involved in the community. More often than not, students struggle with balancing all this pressure, while maintaining a healthy social life.

“I usually perform better when I am under less pressure.  Stress from school itself is unbearable, and nearly impossible with my parents watching my every move,” says Henke.

Other parents, however, chose to be less involved with thestudent’s school life.

“My parents don’t put a lot of stress on me. They’ve taught me that it’s important to work hard and do my best, but it’s okay not to be perfect,” says Sophie Hamrick, junior. “They believe in creating a balance between work and play.”

The “right way” to raise your child is something that parents have questioned since the beginning of time. Too much pressure as well as too little pressure can affect a student for the rest of their life.

“When I stress, I procrastinate. Being under immense amounts of stress is actually what led me to quit swimming, a sport that I used to love,” says Henke.

According to Northern Illinois University’s Dept. of Education, “Your children are more likely to suffer from self-esteem issues and confidence problems if they feel that your parental pressure is too strong. Your child might become withdrawn, which could lead to his/her lack of satisfaction as an adult.”

It’s natural for a parent to want their child to excel in school, sports and ultimately life.  Yet sometimes the amount of pressure a parent places on their child can backfire and consequently have a negative effect and the opposite result of what was intended.