How to deal with parents who pressurize?

Antima Jain

Antima Jain

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Without purpose, life becomes subject to parameters out of our ambit of control. To give purpose to living is to find a goal to strive towards. One such goal is education. Reality is quite different from imagination as in the former we constantly encounter criticism, hardships, and a desire to prove our worth, that we assign to our existence. Often, external factors like parents to motivate their children tend to reduce the child’s self-worth, self-esteem, and confidence through comparisons they draw to others. Healthy competition does boost morale but its flip side is not as favored. 

Self-esteem, a part of the personality that contains positive and negative self-evaluations. Positive leading to higher self-confidence and better work output, negative to actual failure. Low self-esteem motivates the person to do less; reduced effort, increased anxiety, concluding in failure to complete the task. In this context and Indian society, the judgment children receive from parents isn’t a new domain. Its been there for many generations and we have normalized its occurrence. Constant comparisons and erosion of morale affect the temperament of the child. The mood of the student or ward to perform is dependent on resilience that the person possesses to overcome stress exacerbated by parents. Unfortunately, not all children are endowed with it. The fix? To equip self with tools required to realize self-worth, ambition and evaluate them out of the milieu of others expectations and requirements. 

Focusing on individual strengths and weaknesses is key. To bettering grades, outlining areas for improvement, and dedicating more time towards it helps. An efficient timetable to assign study and revision schedules will work to eliminate anxiety brought about through procrastination, stemming from low self-confidence.  Identifying and isolating change in mood, to document and understand situations leading to lowered self-esteem. Taking up more than what one can handle will also reduce performance when the expectations fall short. Therefore, understanding one’s limitations concerning grades and potential is crucial.

Talking to parents to create an atmosphere of dialogue is essential. The general perception of Indian parents is that they are conservative and ignorant of mental health. While in most circumstances this is true, the conversation happens both ways. For a teenager to deal with a situation maturely is by engaging in conversation as it helps in venting their thoughts instead of bottling them up. Sitting down and conveying their interests, disinterest, etc., will help strengthen the bond of the family and support the child to overcome low self-esteem. 

Further, peer groups play an equally vital role in nourishing the confidence of a teenager by reaching out to the distressed child, lauding their achievements, lending an ear, forming study groups, to seek to help a peer in need without poking fun at them.

Asking for guidance from school counselors, teachers with the workload and individual stress will reduce the burden the student has to shoulder. A teenager’s life is rife with confusion due to hormonal changes, altered social groups, budding infatuations, and changing family dynamics. They need navigation from adults without judgment to assure them of the freedom to make choices by themselves.

Every person isn’t purported to fit into the mold that is prevalent in society, instead of conforming we need to find forge our path to success. 

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