In the Southern hemisphere, the children are heading into the final stretch of the school year and most of them will have examinations looming at the end of a busy term filled with classes, homework, assignments, concerts, music, and sport.
In the Northern hemisphere, the children are all facing a new school year with new teacher and class structures. Some will be starting at a new school and will need to make a new set of friends.
For all children, wherever they live, life is stressful. Many children are pressured by parents to perform well at school and achieve. Some are also pressured to continuously practice and excel at sport, music and other extra curricular activities. Many children are driven by their own desire to succeed and do well. Scholarships, gaining acceptance into good universities, and getting a good job at the end of it all, is a common aim.
With our world so much faster and many jobs under threat of becoming redundant due to new technology and robotics, as well as a far bigger world population resulting in more competition for fewer jobs, our children are under far more pressure to achieve then we were. Most modern children are also far more aware of trends in the global job market than we were. This all leads to a lot of anxiety, stress, and pressure for youngsters.
While some pressure on kids to perform is a good thing, many children are under to much pressure and don’t have time to “be kids” anymore. To much pressure can impact kids negatively in many areas of their lives. Some of these areas are as follows:
- Higher rates of mental illness – stress, anxiety, and pressure wear children down and lead to mental health problems like depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and other eating disorders;
- Higher risks of injuries – children who are pressured to perform on the sports field may ‘push through’ pain and other warnings signs of injury, possibly causing long-term damage to their bodies;
- Increased risk of cheating – In circumstances where achievement of high marks becomes all consuming and is expected by parents, the desire to achieve at all costs can lead to unethical behaviour like cheating on tests and examinations;
- Poor sportsmanship – kids who are pressured to always perform well don’t appreciate the benefits of learning to lose with good grace and understand that no-one can shine all the time. Everyone has bad days and difficulties with some or other subject or area of a subject; and
- Sleep deprivation – Kids who are under constant pressure to perform are include to stay up late cramming for tests and suffer from lack of sleep. This can lead to poor health and bad sleeping habits.
From a parent or guardian perspective, these are five signs you are putting to much pressure on your child:
- Criticizing your child for things s/he got wrong and not highlighting the things done well;
- Being overly involved in your child’s studying, practice schedules, and choices of sports and other extramural activities;
- Forcing your child to study and/or practice thereby not allowing him/her to learn consequences of lack of discipline and not studying or practicing;
- Telling your child that an exam or sports game is a once in a lifetime opportunity;
- Comparing your child unfavourably to other children or a sibling;
- Losing your temper with your child or becoming obviously frustrated by lack of understanding or poor performance by your child.
Do you think children are very pressured in our modern world? Let me know in the comments.
About Robbie Cheadle
Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with 9 children’s books and 2 poetry books.
The 7 Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.
Robbie has also published 2 books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.
Robbie has 2 adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories in the horror and paranormal genre and poems included in several anthologies.
Robbie writes a monthly series for https://writingtoberead.com called Growing Bookworms. This series discusses different topics relating to the benefits of reading to children.
Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.
Find Robbie Cheadle
Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram
Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books
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