Are you putting too much pressure on your kids?
SALT LAKE CITY — In this edition of LIFEadvice, coaches Kim Giles and Nicole Cunningham explain the signs to watch for in an at-risk teen and how parents can check themselves for over-the-top expectations. I admit I have high standards and expect my kids to excel and get really good grades, but I would feel like a bad parent if I didn’t. My husband and I are both over achievers who have post-graduate degrees, and we have been successful in business. Of course we want the same kind of life for our kids. A friend recently asked me if I think I put too much pressure on them and I guess I’m not sure. I think maybe there is a fine line between too much pressure and not enough, at least in my opinion. I also expect my kids to be pretty independent and responsible, but this friend made me feel like she thinks I’m there for my kids enough. I would be open to an outside opinion on what’s too much pressure, I really want to be a good parent and raise them right. Your articles have been helpful in the past so I thought I would ask. The thing you must be aware of is more and more kids from affluent families, who have supportive parents, are suffering from depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and substance abuse, and these kids are the most at risk for suicide. An article in The Atlantic magazine about the suicide rate in Palo Alto, California, showed how often kids from wealthy families end up stressed, miserable and suicidal. The author, Hanna Rosin, said the major factor for these kids is pressure from parents that leaves them tired, discouraged and feeling alone. There is an interesting book called "The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids," which might interest you. Author Madeline Levine says there is a toxic combination that happens when there is too much pressure to succeed and not enough connection with their parents. Those two together create the risk. She says parents are too often over-involved in some things while being under-involved in others. For example, they care a lot about grades but don't take time to listen and connect. Here are some warning signs that your child may be at risk: Feeling tired all the time Trouble sleeping Never at home Eating disorders or changes in diet Lack of motivation Lying Cheating Drugs, alcohol abuse Hanging out with under-achieving friends Now add those signs to these signs that you might be a parent who puts too much pressure on your children: You are a high-stress person, a perfectionist or extremely picky. You are highly organized and need things clean and...Read the full article here