When loving nudge turns into parental pressure

Parents always compare their children’s accomplishments with other children. I know my mom does! It is funny how she seems to always say, "look how your friend studies! She gets A+ in everything and you are sitting in front of me with what is equal to a fail mark? Why can’t you be more like her?"


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My usual reply is, "she is my friend, not yours so I know how much she gets!"

"I have spoken to her parents! I know she does very well. At least much better than you!"

"Ma, you stretch the truth about how well I do in school. So why is it so hard for other parents to do so?"

Parental pressure is the worst in the world. We ourselves feel inadequate because of our parents remarks and we try to be "more like our friend." In the end, we are never happy with our work because it is never done for ourselves. Every single thing is done to impress our parents who never really are impressed!

At first my parents cheered me on and would pin up my report cards on the fridge as a prize. But the line between encouragement and pressure is not really so fine at all. There is a point  where the pressure stops being beneficial to the child and becomes the obsession of the parent. The parents cross the line when they start to identify too much with their child’s feats. They start setting a very high, unrealistic standard for their children which no child can really ever reach.

When my parents started putting on too much pressure, I sank. My grades went down and people had noticed a change in me. I snapped out of it when my school counsellor reminded me the reason, why I was in school in the first place. To learn. Weren’t exams supposed to be for teachers to know how well you have understood? When did this change? A better question is why did it change? Competition.

But the only competition you should have is with yourself.


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