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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Expectations of parents are a burden on their kids

Expectations is a word that attaches right from the inception of a child, in the initial days of life, expectations of learning good manners and being a respected person, in the schooling days of studying hard and choosing the correct friends and peers, in the college days of choosing an appropriate line and settling down in life and so on till we die we are always surrounded by some or the other expectations.

Due to immense competition in the world to be a successful person, the parents are burdening the child with immense pressure without thinking; will the child be able to take that much pressure? Are they capable of what the parents are expecting out of them? The second main reason for increasing pressure from the parents is, initial people used to stay in joint families and did not have that much time to focus only on the child, but now with nuclear families being in the vogue, parents have more time to concentrate on their child and want their child to excel in each and everything. A lot of parents also try to impose their unfulfilled dreams onto their child which may or may not be accepted by the child; especially this is faced by parents who have only one kid.

There are numerous parents that I have met who are never satisfied with their children’s performance, no matter how well do they perform, how many accolades they win they are never happy; these kind of parents are always building unknowingly a negative pressure on the child and burden them with unrealistic expectations leading to de-motivation amongst the children. We all look for appreciation and when one does not receive any kind of appreciation you get demotivated to do things or study properly. For example, even if a child gets 90% in his studies the parent would say why dint you get 95% and so on.

Ability and outcome are the two kind of expectation imposed by parents on the child. When a child is expected to perform just because he is naturally gifted with that talent, for example, “you should have won the swimming completion because you are a natural swimmer and you are the best, you have always won all the competitions.” The delinquency with ability expectations is that children develop an attitude that they are top achiever in a particular field as they have the ability but are unable to accept failure.

When a child is over stressed with expectation he may become detached from the parents, may isolate himself, stop performing as per his previous records or may take any extreme action like suicidal attempts or leave the house and run away from the parents. An incident that I witnessed and would like to cite here, One boy attempted suicide just before his results were out because he assumed that he did not perform well as per his parents expectation and might flunk in one of the subjects he committed suicide and died; when the results were out he had not only passed in all the papers but had topped in his school. When parents over burden the children with their expectation or do not praise the child for whatever achievement he has made uptil now, children often have started taking serious actions.

Hence, expectations are natural, every parent has some or the other expectation from their children, but do not over burden them with your expectation. Recognise their ability and interests and let them perform on their own. Try to identify the signs that your child is overburdened and over stressed and take an action immediately to soothe him and start a fresh to teach your child.