Parenting is a highly delicate process where everything needs to be in its proper proportion. When a child is born, or even earlier, the parents start planning out what they want for the child.
They had a strong desire to see their children succeed and be happy and in the process of caring, they sometimes care too much which hinders the child from exploring the world. Parental pressure can be direct (yelling, punishing) or indirect (setting unrealistic goals, negative comparison). In this article, we will learn how a parent can develop a healthy parenting style and what should a parent do to balance between caring and over-caring.
Source of Parental Pressure
- Personal Ambitions: Parents put a lot of effort into channeling the path according to them. They put pressure on their children to pursue certain careers as they believe that they will choose the best for their child every time.
- Academic Competition: Parents always want their kids to perform well academically and get into a good school or get a good job.
- Societal Norms: In order to achieve societal expectations, parents raise their children in a way that they achieve milestones.
- Experience and Expectations: Sometimes, parents put pressure on their children to achieve those things they were unable to achieve.
Signs that show you are over-caring
- Making decisions: Over-caring parents might not let their child make any life decisions they don’t believe that their ward would be able to make any important decisions for themselves. From clothing to friends or even career paths, they don’t let them choose even the smaller ones.
- Overprotective: Sometimes, parents overly protect their children and it ultimately prevents them from growing with greater exposure. Examples of overprotection are Not letting their child play outside, Not letting them go with their friends, etc.
- Critical for their child: Over-caring parents may be constantly critical of their child’s performance, behavior, personality, achievements, and social success. And this criticalness lowers the self-esteem and confidence of their child.
- Do everything for them: Parents do not let their children do even the smallest task. They do every possible thing and ease their life. Tying shoelaces, picking up stuff for them, and making their bed. This prevents the child from being independent and self-sufficient.
- Difficulty in trusting their child: Overcaring leads to not trusting the child. Constantly monitoring their activities, do not trust their child that they would make good decisions and are able to handle the things on their own.
Overcaring parenting can have a negative impact on a child’s mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
Consequences of caring
Parental pressure can have a number of negative consequences on the mental health of the child, including-
- Anxiety or stress: Child might feel stressed out and pressured if they are not living up to the expectations of their parents.
- Low self-esteem: Over-involvement of parents in a child’s life may lower self-esteem and self-confidence. Parents do not let their children explore the world independently so, they hesitate when they interact.
- Eating disorder: Children who feel pressured in a home setting may be thin or have eating disorders. They have certain body types that might be prone to illness.
- Depression and Substance abuse: Due overwhelming protective behaviour of the parents may lead their children to depression. These kinds of children usually find substances addictive.
- Rebellious: Overly cared kids often rebel for freedom, and their asserting behavior is rebellious which can create a gap between a parent and a child.
It is important to be aware of the potential negative consequences of parenting pressure. These can intensify the burnout and lead to some resentment and emotional distance. Parents must keep these negative consequences in mind before pressuring their children.
Tips for healthy parenting without pressurizing
- Focus on your child’s strengths: Instead of imposing your own will, let your child explore their strengths and weaknesses and teach them to give first priority to development and experience instead of achieving anything.
- Set some realistic expectations: Do not set high standards for your child, understand your child’s strengths and unique qualities. Keep in mind that each child is unique in their own way.
- Let them explore: Set your child free, let them explore life but guide them accordingly. If a child is set free, they get chances to understand and work on their strengths and weaknesses.
- Encourage them: Every child is unique in their own way; some are good at academics and some may be good at athletics. Encourage them, and be their support system.
Keep in mind that parents are the ones who shape their child’s life the most. Every child is unique, so don’t put them under excessive pressure; instead, let them be free to explore. Parents who put their children under excessive pressure risk killing their inner genius.