Under pressure

Under pressure

The news about a college student who decided to end her life last Friday morning certainly brings about distress and worry for parents like me. Mental health issues are seemingly very common among our youngsters nowadays and the fact that these incidents are further amplified in social media may also cause a trigger for others to follow suit.

Since the concerned university is said to be containing this sensitive issue, various accounts and claims, however, are being made as to what prompted the female student to commit suicide in such a horrific manner. The top-of-mind cause of why kids succumb to depression and anxiety conditions is probably pressure in studies. This made me realize that parents must avoid pressuring their kids to get good grades or to pursue courses that they choose for their children. The kids should be the ones to decide what they will be taking up in college and we must let them sit well with their strengths and weaknesses.

Early this year, I was confronted that my son, now a Grade 7 student, is also pressured with his studies. I remember reminding him to prioritize his studies, and I know that he has been very obedient. It seems that my son, whom I have accepted, is not academically inclined or maybe not interested in studies. Even when he was still five years old, I already knew in my heart that I should not be expecting him to follow my suit, (me being a consistent honor student throughout my studies). I have long accepted that he has his strengths and weaknesses and there is no point in comparing myself with him. However, as a parent, I have to admit that we have certain expectations and aspirations for them to excel in their studies so that in the future, they can use this to their advantage.

Just two days ago, I listened to a parent who proudly shared his journey of accepting his children’s lags in life and supported them no matter what. He was not embarrassed to share that even after seven years in college, his sons finally finished their degrees.

Parents play a crucial role in shaping their children's future, but expecting too much from them can have negative consequences. Parents need to remember that every child is unique and has their strengths and weaknesses. Pressuring children to meet unrealistic expectations can lead to feelings of inadequacy, stress, and anxiety. Children should be allowed to explore their interests and passions without the fear of disappointing their parents. By setting unattainable goals, parents risk damaging their relationship with their children and hindering their emotional well-being.

Instead of focusing on high achievements, parents should encourage a healthy balance between academics, extracurricular activities, and personal growth. By supporting their children's efforts and celebrating small victories, parents can help foster confidence and self-esteem. While it is natural for parents to want the best for their children, it is important not to place too much pressure on them. Parents should strive to create a supportive environment where children feel loved and accepted regardless of their accomplishments.

I think that is how parents must address their problem now—we have to accept our kids for what they are and help them follow whatever makes them happy and contented in life. Win or lose, we must love and accept them because, after all, they help us define what life is truly worth.


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