Opinion: Parents put too much pressure on teenagers

Parents put a lot of pressure on their kids. I know my parents put pressure on my older sister and me. Many of my peers feel very pressured by their guardians as well. Pressure to get good grades, do well in extracurriculars, and even pressure to look/act a certain way. However, all this pressure has negative effects and maybe parents can do something to stop it. 

[S]tudents turn to cheating to maintain those high grades due to fear of failure.

— Guest Writer Grace Weatherly

Students feel a lot of pressure from parents in academics. With the pressure to do well for the future and pressure from all aspects of being a full-time student; students are likely to try and try, yet never meet the expectations. As a result, some students turn to cheating to maintain those high grades due to fear of failure. These students will do anything to succeed in the standards their parents have created, even if they do so unethically. Parental pressure can even cause children to not participate due to not being as good as everyone else in a particular subject; meaning they won’t take the opportunities to improve their skill.  Not only is there pressure on academics, but much pressure is put on the extracurriculars as well.

Many students are in extracurricular activities and many use them as an escape to do what they want. However, parents ruin that for their kids a majority of the time. For instance, with sports, many parents expect their kids to do well in every single game. When the player doesn’t do well, they feel they failed those expectations and are extremely disappointed in themselves. It gets to the point where the parent pushes the athlete so much they push them over the edge. It doesn’t help when the parents tell the athlete everything they did wrong. This persistent pushing can lead to a higher risk of injuries, where the athlete will still play with a serious injury. Causing the risk of a life long injury. Although pressure can have positive benefits like getting students to get their work done, there are many more negative effects.

It gets to the point where the parent pushes the athlete so much they push them over the edge.

— Guest Writer Grace Weatherly

Parental pressure has and continues to cause many harmful effects on teenagers. It creates a need to be better and constantly looking for validation from parents.  This is not healthy. The expectations put on teenagers makes them feel like they should be someone they aren’t, leading to eating disorders, higher rates of mental illnesses, self-esteem issues, and sleep deprivation.  Even with sports, parents want you to do the absolute best for colleges and the same with academics. According to the VeryWell Family, “Adults have also expressed concerns that kids today ‘can’t be kids anymore’ because they are pressured and expected to constantly do well.” With that being said, parents can put a stop to these unhealthy effects and give us more time to just be kids.

With everything teenagers are expected to do, how do we have time to be ourselves and do what we want? We aren’t exactly able to with consistent pressure. However, parents are able to ease this pressure through just three small things: encouragement, introspect, and interaction. I get that parents want what is best for their kids, but they need to remember that we are kids and deserve time to be them. Not over worrying about college or sports. Mentioned in Parents, “As parents, it’s vital that we remember the root of playing a sport: having fun.” All it takes is a positive interaction full of support while giving them space to be seen and heard. 

Parental pressure has made a tremendous negative impact on children. From academically cheating to heightened mental illnesses. It is a constant struggle for students, full of low self-confidence. Parents can make changes so their children won’t feel that way, through encouragement and talking things out. It is important that children feel enough for their parents even without meeting all these expectations.

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