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Victoria Shumakovich

United States

The Never Ending Push

March 18, 2019

    Growing up in a competitive school, I have seen many cases of parental pressure going too far. The idea of “doing your best” doesn’t exist, because anything below an A means you didn’t try hard enough. Everyone is striving for the perfect scores to the point where a small imperfection is the end of the world. Not only is their a pressure to get good grades, but there is also the expectation of taking the hardest classes. Many kids participate in extracurricular activities and just don’t have the time to properly do all the work. This leads to constant studying, not getting enough sleep, and living off coffee because the late night studying has left them tired and drained. Mental breakdowns become a regular thing that kids have to deal with and try their hardest not to affect them. Do you really think this life style will improve kids academic performances? Everyone wants to do well, but having an extra stress of parental approval ends up affecting kids negatively. There are many kids who need that extra push to get motivated, but many already put pressure on themselves and don’t need another thing to worry about. Instead of allowing the kid to focus on their work, and other aspects of life, parents create another problem that seems impossible to solve. Parental pressure only affects kids negatively, by creating mental illnesses, such as depression, and ruining the way they act and think of themselves.   
Stress is a big part of everyone's life. Nobody searches for stress, instead people try to avoid it, and parental pressure only acts as a way to add onto the stress a kid already has. The never ending stress ,“ place[s] children at a greater risk of developing depression or other mental health issues.” The constant pressure to do well, causes kids to be anxious about everything that might go a little wrong, making them focus only on their achievements, isolating them from their friends and family. Eventually, with nobody to talk to, kids end up feeling like failures, leading them to have depression.
Along with depression “approximately one in five of the students... had contemplated suicide due to the enormous pressure from parents to produce exceptional grades”. If the expectations get too unrealistic it can cause kids to see their life as unworthy and useless if they can’t achieve those expectations. They see their hard work as a waste of time since they are never going to be “perfect”. Today's society has standards that already lower many kids self esteem, but “pushing kids to excel can damage their self-esteem” even more. The assumptions parents make about their kids greatness can make kids feel like they are not good enough, and never will be. Parents don’t understand that for their child to be confident in what they are doing, they need to show support and acknowledge their kids effort.
With the mental health of kids now struggling, kids can end up getting desperate. Parents don’t always realize that their perfect little child can end up doing dishonest things. When all the kid can think about is  “achievement—rather than learning—kids are more likely to cheat”. At this point the only goal the kid has is make his/her parents happy. The only way they can achieve this, is by getting good grades. This will only end up hurting them in the future, because they are gaining only acceptance not knowledge.

Going through school, I had friends from all different countries and backgrounds. Each ethnicity has their own beliefs of how much parental pressure should be put on their child. Usually people who are from Asian countries, have higher amounts of parental pressure. In countries such as Japan “roughly six-in-ten Japanese (59%) say all this pressure is too much.” Many of my classmates that were from these countries, are constantly worried about each half point they got off. After tests, the statement “ oh my goodness, I failed” only meant they think  they got a low A or a B. Those grades are not bad. In the long run nobody will see whether you got a 100 percent or a low A. This just shows how much being “perfect” matters to their family.
However there are many who would disagree, and think that without pressure and guidance, kids won’t be able to achieve anything themselves. Around  “64% of Americans say parents aren’t putting enough pressure on children to do well in school.” Many believe that when kids don’t get pressure from parents they don’t have the motivation to do well because nobody is expecting anything from them. However, for some that might be true but if the pressure is unrealistic kids will feel discouraged and the results won’t end up positive. I think everyone agrees, that a parents number one priority is to give their child a good and healthy life, but if their behavior is what is causing children to have mental illnesses and an unhealthy lifestyle, they should change their ways. If kids think of their parents as a stresser, the relationship of the kid and parent will become intense and eventually distant. Every parent loves their child and want to do everything to keep their relationship strong.
As someone who receives pressure from themselves rather then from parents, I can definitely say that the pressure you put on yourself is enough. It is difficult for me to imagine how my peers can deal with their own expectations and the intimidation of their parents to be on top. All the parental pressure imminently will only affect the child negatively. They will have a higher chance of ending up with a mental illness, and do things that are against their morals. Instead of letting this keep happening, we should make parents acknowledge that the only thing their child can do is their best. They also need to realize that their child's health and their love for their child is stronger and more important than any grade they receive.



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  • March 18, 2019 - 8:20pm (Now Viewing)

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1 Comment
  • Blotted Ink with a Broken Quill

    This is a great message, and it is written well. I did notice you mention suicide though, so it is possible WTW could take it down. Congrats on first publish!

    6 months ago