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Parents’ Corner parenting

Excessive academic pressure can cause undue stress and anxiety in children. HIGH EXPECTATIONS

Unfortunately, there are parents who focus more on the end-result than on what their children are capable of. Although this is not really an issue with outstanding students, it may prove detrimental to those who don’t do as well as their peers. In “Do Asian Students Face Too Much Academic Pressure?” published on the CNN website in July 2015, Jeff Yang wrote, “Asian parents frequently see academic success as a ticket out of the toil and sacrifice that they experienced in their adult lives. They see hard work in schools as a small price to pay for a lifetime of security.” Mina*, a homemaker and mom of two, shares that a neighbor, whose daughter goes to the same school as her son and is one class level lower, keeps asking for her son’s used books and notebooks after every school year. “My neighbor wants her child to know lessons in advance so she can

maintain being the top one in class,” relates Mina. “I am worried about the future consequences but I don’t feel I have the right to call out the mom about her actions.” Ria Ciabal-de la Cruz, assistant school director of The Raya School Inc. in Quezon City who has also been serving as a private tutor for the past 25 years, says she has met parents who make their kids undergo tutorials in summer, claiming this is so their children won’t get stressed during the school year. “I have tried offering workshops on the fun side during summertime but academic work is still the popular choice. I even had parents who would go out of their way to reproduce worksheets of the kids of their friends who are a batch higher than their own children. They would then forward the materials to me so I can work on them with their own kids,” reveals Teacher Ria. According to her, traditional parents are the ones more likely to

apply academic pressure. “It is really a competitive world out there and for some parents, the ‘educational path’ of their child has been paved way before the child could actually walk on his own. They have already planned where their child would attend preschool, grade school, junior and senior high school, college, even grad and post-grad schools!” She remembers once tutoring a fourth grader from an exclusive boys’ school. “His father, a successful businessman, told me, ‘Teacher, please focus on his math and comprehension skills. I want him to attend The London School of Economics.’ Even I was pressured! Thankfully, despite not being able to get into his father’s chosen school, the child still grew up to become a successful businessman like his dad,” she says. Teacher Ria is also happy to note that there are now more progressive parents who have accepted that there are other ways of learning, or who are at least more open to the idea.

GUIDING VS. FORCING

We all need motivation and people cheering us on to help us in our quest to succeed. However, too much “encouragement” could produce the opposite effect. Excessive academic pressure can cause undue stress and anxiety in children. They may also end up resenting their parents for prohibiting

Parents convey to their children that outstanding performance is important to success, but personal satisfaction and trying one’s best are also important. 44

FamilyMatters | September-November 2016

Family Matters September-November 2016  
Family Matters September-November 2016  
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