Most parents today have a hard time living. They are pressured by society, friends, and acquaintances, own parents, memories, and habits. Teachers, school psychologists, family psychotherapists state that college kids are increasingly feeling the stress associated with school successes. They live in constant tension. Many students should not just study, but also attend extra classes, and perform every task on “excellent” grade. Some parents are aware of this. In conformity with estimates, 31% of them believe that the school provokes stress in the child, 52% say that they themselves are stressed because of school grades of their kids. Indirectly, this confirms the huge demand for particular lessons practicality in a variety of subjects.
Assessments significantly affect children’s mood, and additional pressure is provided by child family. A study conducted by the University of Arizona taught the importance of the fact that parents need to stop paying excessive attention to bad estimates. The thing is that an excessive desire for academic success is fraught with the absence of any other events in the life of a child. Usual family days rarely appear in his schedule. Also, goodness does not receive due development. And, if the child always thinks only about achieving the best results in the school curriculum, in the future it can lead to serious problems. Assessments, sooner or later, will cease to have any meaning in a person’s life, and completely different things will come to the fore.
Specialists from the University of Iowa also conducted a research. 506 kids from elementary school whose families with high incomes took part in it. Children were asked to choose three out of six things for which they were valued by their parents. The list includes three values relating to the success of schoolchildren, for example, good grades, and the rest were associated with kindness and decency towards other people. Researchers compared the responses of participants to their behavior and academic performance at school. Family’s’ attitude was discovered as the main factor. The study showed that parent’ attitudes toward achievement and kindness directly influenced children’s assessments and their ability to adapt. The way children perceived criticism from their parents was also an important thing. The researchers discovered the following fact. Children whose parents valued achievements more than kindness were more anxious, depressed, had low self-esteem, arranged hysterics and criticized their parents. They behaved worse in school and had problems with studies. Experts say that because of pressure from the parents and the pursuit of achievements, children do not form important social skills necessary in real life.
Parents pressure on their kids in different ways. They are unceremoniously interfering in the personal space of the child, tightly controlling each step, forcing, threatening, bribing or punishing him, in other words, they require order and perfection with all the means they have. They are sure: if you point out the child’s shortcomings and failures, he will try to correct them. But it turns out differently. Children increasingly doubt their own strength, feel guilty and very quickly cease to trust themselves deciding that they are not good enough. But why do parents behave this way? Pressing behavior reflects primarily their own fears and anxieties of parents, fear that they will not have enough time, strength and ability to educate their children. Adults are not sure what will happen tomorrow (with their work, family, and country), and therefore they are trying even harder for the future.
Children react differently to such situations. Depending on the nature and type of the nervous system some protest and become aggressive, some can completely abandon their studies. Why try if it does not change anything? Others, on the contrary, try their best. But they quickly become exhausted, become touchy or moody, sometimes they get a lot sick.
Sometimes teachers also exert pressure. The teacher believes that there is only his subject and there is nothing else, so he sets a huge amount of homework. Students do not always cope with everything and worry about the assessment. Some teachers even forbid correcting these grades! After all, if a child is interested in languages, he will start reading books and watching movies/series in the language he is studying. If a student is interested in mathematics, then he will analyze at home and go deep into the material he needs. When a child is interested in a particular subject, and he wants to do it, he will do it regardless of time and place. Unfortunately, some teachers think differently, and grades become indicators of academic achievement. Someone worries about them, but some do not. I am very worried about every “bad” evaluation, and because of a large number of experiences, I become depressed like every ordinary person. Of course, this does not mean that one should treat academic progress with indifference. But do not deplete yourself due to the fact that the evaluation of one of the items was not the kind one would like to receive. As in everything in life, it is very important to maintain a balance.
Any evaluation is super-subjective. If the teacher does not realize how to build an educational process without giving out estimates (I heard that there are such teachers), then this is not a child’s problem. If the child received a low rating, this does not mean that he is bad or does something wrong. There can be one other option: the child really started to ignore his studies. In this case, parents should be on the side of the child, but this does not always mean to tell that he is right. This means keeping the home environment in such a way in which he feels confident, calm and can share what he has in his heart. Maybe the child and the teacher have a difficult relationship. Maybe he did not understand something, or he fell in love and did not have enough time to study the last week. There is no such a thing that a child “just does not want to” learn. There are many reasons. I would like to advise adults to try this situation on themselves. If adults do bad work, they will always find a thousand reasons why they are right, and the boss made a mistake. Why do they act in another way with their kids? After all, they have no one but their parents. They are lonely. Making the child’s life even harder is a strange function of the parents, is not it?
Parents should realize this and try to escape from such a multi-vector pressure. How interesting is the mother’s life, if she believes that the child has no right to get a bad evaluation? How can this be avoided, but remain firm and consistent without destroying the child’s personality? First of all, it is necessary to distinguish the pressing behavior from the demanding. And for this, parents need to understand what they feel when they communicate with the child. Irritation, anger, annoyance or resentment causes an instant (protective) reaction – that is, parents press on the child, seeking from him the unquestioning fulfillment of rules and prohibitions. Persistency arises with a clear understanding of priorities. And then the main thing for it is not evaluation, but curiosity and activity of the child. Being demanding means constantly encouraging him to move forward, considering both strengths and weaknesses of the character. It also means to observe kids’ development, support and protect him when he needs it, and rejoice with him when he acquires new knowledge and skills.
Parents should understand that their child is a peculiar center of the universe in itself. Evaluations are nothing more than a formality. It is for this reason that we hear stories about a student who has never received excellent grades, but now he is at the top of the career ladder and has everything he wants. A student whose parents forced get high marks now is working in a dusty office just to pay off numerous loans. I invite parents and teachers to think is it the life they want for his kids and pupils.
- Why Are Students Pressured to Get Good Grades? – Teen Ink, http://www.teenink.com/nonfiction/academic/article/571922/Why-Are-Students-Pressured-to-Get-Good-Grades/
- Science activities for the elementary grades, B. JohnSyrocki – Parker Pub. Co. – 1968