Sunday, September 22, 2019

Click here to
sign up for our newsletter!

The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Mar 20, 2019

Pushy Parenting Doesn’t Pay

Submitted by Emily Chang of Holmdel

emily chang holmdel pushy parenting

You scarf down dinner in the car as you are mechanically ushered from school to sports to clubs to tutors. When you finally get home, exhausted, you are faced with piles of homework and have no choice but to toil into the wee hours of the night. You fall asleep the second your head hits the pillow, only to do the same dehumanizing process all over again the next day.

“Work harder,” you constantly hear from your parents. “Think about your future! You’ll thank me when you’re older.”  

Immersed in a culture of overachievement, parents are more desperate than ever to see their children excel. They believe they must make their kids more prosperous than themselves, consequently pushing them beyond their limits and exhausting every possible resource.

But is this actually benefiting students? Or is parental drive for success leaving a detrimental impact?

While parents are truly looking out for their children’s best interests, excessive pushing actually produces the opposite effect. Piling on activities and completing additional work does not breed success; in fact, students lose motivation and the extracurriculars they were once passionate about begin to weigh them down as painful burdens.

Children even begin to perceive their relationship with their parents as contingent on their performance. Their success becomes their parents’ success, and affection only occurs when something is achieved. As kids endure an increased amount of pressure to be “perfect,” they develop a fear of failure and often succumb to unethical tendencies such as cheating and lying.

Depression, anxiety, and sleep deprivation are also highly prevalent due to this unhealthy environment, occurring more frequently as modern parenting becomes more relentless. Confidence equals success, so children who grow up stressed with low self esteem struggle to achieve optimal results. Those who are overscheduled often suffer from overexertion and are prone to burn out quickly. According to a study conducted by New York University, students under intense pressure are more likely to reduce their internal turmoil through substance abuse.

There is no doubt that parents do need to encourage and motivate their kids as it is their responsibility to provide them with a good life. But there is an extent to which the amount of pushing stops being beneficial and becomes harmful. There is a fine line between support and force and when this line is crossed – no matter how well-intentioned – a child’s future will be negatively affected.

Rather than acting as an oppressive force, parents need to offer a reassuring hand to guide their children. Success can only be achieved if parents set realistic goals and prioritize their children’s health over their accomplishments. After all, happiness is the key to success, not the other way around.