Parents Stack Pressure on Students
By Juliet Aguilera
From an early age, kids feel a sense a joy when they make their parents proud. These moments might come from getting all A’s in school, winning a competition, or scoring in a game. In the classroom, these kids often feel the obligation to succeed in school and overachieve in order to make their parents proud. However, this might be a dangerous mindset.
Some students take on many challenges, such as AP courses, sports, clubs, community service, and work, as ways to feel loved and accepted by their parents.
According to James Budzienski, a reporter for the website The Bump, parental pressure comes with side effects like stress, depression, anxiety, and suicidality among students.
“Unfortunately, many kids collapse under too much parental pressure,” Budzienski claims. “Sleep deprivation, eating disorders, suicide, excessive worrying, cheating, burnout, loss of interest in hobbies or withdrawing from friends and family can all be consequences of excess pressure. Stress and anxiety can manifest physically, too.”
Iris Chi, a Novato High junior, confronts parental pressure to a small degree. She has the pressure to succeed to make her parents proud. She feels pressured to keep up with the stereotype that all Asians are smart, which comes from her parents and society. She challenged herself this year by taking five AP classes, along with Precalculus with the hope of getting a perfect GPA for college.
“My parents have accomplished many things,’’ said Chi, “so they expect more from me as well.”
Sometimes, students give in to parental pressure in hopes of fulfilling their parents’ dreams, not their own. Alanis Galdamez, a Novato High junior, has a a lot of pressure from being the first generation born in the United States (her parents were born in Guatemala and El Salvador).
“I do think I have parental pressure as my parents expect so much from me for being the first generation of my family being born in United States and going to college,” said Galdamez. “They just want to see that their sacrifices weren’t in vain and to see the outcome of their sacrifices through me.”
Asal Behzadizadeh, a junior at Novato High, has taken up the challenge of three AP classes and Precalculus, not only as strategy to please her parents, but also to realize her dream of becoming a doctor.
“Becoming a doctor comes with a lot of competitiveness and I have to get the best grades, but this is pressure that I put myself through,” said Behzadizadeh. “My parents expect me to get good grades, but if I ever have lower that an A, they understand that I tried my best.”
Sometimes parents are the right factors for guidance, but when they take their guidance into excessive pressure, it leads to negativity among students. All parents want their children to do well in school. Some parents just put unrealistic expectations that can cause damage to a student, both mentally and physically. The parents desire for a successful child could potentially consume the student before they know it, and this can be harmful.