Everyone feels parental pressure from time to time, but there comes a point when it becomes toxic and detrimental.
Parents are the ones who love and care for us most, and a little parental pressure is natural. They want us to succeed and become the best version of ourselves.
Yet, there are times when parents can be more hurtful than supportive. Some parental pressure is important to help us succeed and instill a strong work ethic as we grow. This makes it quite difficult to quite understand when parental pressure goes from encouraging to damaging.
We assume all that our parents do for us is positive because they are our parents and they love us. This article explores when parental pressure becomes too unhealthy and how we can deal with it effectively.
1. Lack of self-motivation
The irony of pushing children to succeed is that it creates a paradox where children associate hard work with parental pressure. They then don’t develop a work ethic of their own because they are not working for a goal of their own, they are working to please their parents.
This is detrimental to children as they age when parents are not there to push them. They lack sustainable motivation through further education and into their careers, reducing the chances of future successes.
Children under excessive parental pressure also become much more complaisant to their parents’ wishes. This replaces autonomous thinking and judgment, affecting their problem-solving capabilities and need for self-reliance.
Overall, too much parental pressure can remove the child’s ability to look inward to find strength and motivation. This will end up holding them back in their future endeavors.
2. Failure feels like the end of the world
Children who face unrelenting parental pressure begin to associate their identity strongly with their grades or the sport they play. If this becomes too entrenched in their personality, failing in academics or sport can cause their personality to fail also.
This leaves children who face too much pressure from parents twice as likely to suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
3. Too good to be true
The worst effect of too much parental pressure is those who appear to be completely happy and successful. These children are actually hiding behind a false front and a fake sense of self. Teens who are forced to succeed throughout school will fail to develop a real sense of who they are as a person.
This will lead to an identity crisis in the future when they have less parental pressure to maintain the façade.
Without real acceptance of who children are as an individual, they will be hard pushed to accept themselves. As a result, this can lead to a variety of mental health issues and recklessness as young adults.
How to deal with too much parental pressure
As a child
If you are currently dealing with too much parental pressure at home and want to take the problem head on, it’s time to talk to your parents. Try to remain calm and ask your parents to respect your views at the beginning of the conversation. Parents are much more likely to take on the opinions of their child when the conversation is approached maturely.
Be clear on your points and know the clear points you want to make, but don’t forget parents need a little reassurance, too. If you need them to back off a little with regard to academics, reassure them you will not allow your grades to slip. If you have an alternative idea for a university course or wish to defer a year, research all of your options and present them with evidence of your alternatives.
Showing that you are mature enough to understand your own decisions and accept their consequences will garner respect. Thus, you will find your parents will be much more accepting of your views.
Be willing to compromise a little. Allow them to monitor grades or take part in research with you. Ultimately, parents just want to be involved in ensuring the best path for their children. Allowing them to have input will help them feel as though they are helping you along your path.
As an adult
If you suffered from too much parental pressure as a child and are suffering the effects as an adult, it’s important to understand where it is that you suffer. If your self-esteem has taken a hit, or you’re not entirely sure who you are as an individual, take some time to find things you enjoy. Create successes in finding new things and finding what you’re good at.
Where your work ethic may be lacking, it is still possible to strengthen it. Practice working alongside rewards to build motivation and concentration.
Child-parent relationships can be incredibly complicated. It is a careful balance between support and encouragement, both of which can easily slip into babying and pressure.
Asserting yourself to a parent can seem scary, but it is all part of growing up. Parents are doing their best to raise their children. Sometimes they need a little input from their child to help them parent correctly.
Copyright © 2012-2023 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.