Comment: Are parents stressing out their kids too much?

Many parents want their children to do well, but how much involvement is too much?

By pushing their children to obtain excellent results and an outstanding CV, parents can unknowingly put too much stress on them. On top of ever-increasing schoolwork, students are often expected and encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities. Of course many of these activities are fun and relaxing in themselves, but when added to homework and fast approaching exams, they risk becoming a burden instead. We are constantly being pushed and encouraged to push ourselves.  Teenagers compete, do as many activities as possible inside and out of school, juggling their social life and studies. Though it is important to participate in all of these, parents need to realise that their children do have a limit and it is important not to overload and pressurize them excessively.

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In addition to this, having time to relax and simply put your feet up remains just as important as succeeding in exams. While it is crucial to study and stay focused, students also need to have at least half an hour a day to do, well, nothing. Being involved is part of being a parent, but forcing young people to study constantly can have unintended consequences; no more information will be learnt and they will tire themselves out and end up forgetting most of what was revised in the previous hour. It would be more fruitful to allow them some time to not be productive and then have them study again. If allowed this “downtime”, students may be more eager to study once their energy levels have been restored. This may appear as an obvious solution, but unfortunately many parents continue to force their teenagers to study for unrealistic hours and then get frustrated when they do not get the expected results.

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Furthermore, putting in place too many rules may have a more negative effect rather than the desired obedience. The more rules there are, the more likely children may be to rebel. It means that children are even less likely to study as they feel the need to escape from the ever increasing pressure. Showing some authority is essential to parenting and keeping control, but not giving children the chance to breathe and take a break from their work does make them more likely to simply give up and accept worse results.

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To summarize, though it is necessary for parents to be involved in their teenager’s studies, there has to be a limit. Encouraging activities is positive as it does not become a burden and add an excessive amount of stress to their lives. Having study rules in place does help set a routine though it is vital to not be so strict as to lose authority. Students want to achieve as much as their parents want them to, but they will not be able to reach these goals if their parents push them too far.


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