Number One Cause of Children’s Anxiety; Parents

Daphné Gagné, Journalist

The pressure you put on your children can be too much and might cause performance anxiety. 

Parents care about their children and want them to be successful. They might think they didn’t succeed enough when they were younger so they have all this hope for their children to do great things. Parents actually care about what other people think and they don’t want to be perceived as “ not good enough “ parents by not controlling their kids’ future.

Adults can be insecure when they see how other parents educate their children so they just want to do exactly like them which means if your parents see others yelling at their kids and pressuring them they will do the same. They think that if they don’t give the best opportunities it will put their child at a disadvantage, they won’t succeed as much as the others and parents won’t be seen as successful human beings. They sometimes confuse their own insecurities and needs with those of their children because they don’t realize parents and children don’t have the same needs. Your parents might have lived a traumatic experience when they were younger. Their parental figures were maybe not good and they don’t want their kids to feel invisible and not cared about as they did. They don’t always know how to express their love and support, so parents just pressure their children to always be better and think it actually helps them. 

All this pressure coming from parents can be very bad for children, teenagers and even adults. It can cause a lot of stress, and sleep deprivation and they can have difficulties with their personal development like coping skills and resilience. Children miss out on the most important part of their childhood when you control them and don’t let them have a break. When parents only focus on school and grades it keeps kids from learning other very important life skills to succeed. For example, the ability to self-motivate, collaborate, solve problems, and persevere when the going gets tougher and some business leaders say many young employees don’t have those skills. When a kid is good at school they label him as “gifted“  but nobody realizes that everyone has their own “gifts” even if it doesn’t imply academic achievement. Students already put a lot of pressure on themselves in every aspect of their lives and when parents do the same it gets way too hard to support this on their shoulders. Overprotecting your loved ones can be dangerous in every way and cause fears to do so many things, the inability to handle harder situations and severe anxiety. Constantly pressuring your children to always do better can cause self-esteem problems and make them feel like they are never good enough. All of this leads young people to be disappointed in themselves even if they know they worked hard and suicide might start to seem like an option for them. 

Children need space and freedom to find their own motivation to get up in the morning. They need unstructured play and “hanging out” with their friends in order to develop social skills and imagination to eventually become an adult with a healthy lifestyle. Having a big future like becoming a doctor or a dentist doesn’t guarantee any source of happiness so parents need to accept their child’s “gift” or passion whether or not it’s academic. If you let your child follow his dreams and support his choices while showing him love, you will likely become a more happy and successful adult. They need their parents to find their own identities so children won’t be at the center of everything and it will definitely reduce their anxiety. Every adult needs to stop comparing other kids with their own because you never know what’s going on in someone else’s life and it can be a very triggering thing to do. Everyone should learn at school or at home how to control and live with anxiety and stress. They need a lot of encouragement from people they love and care about. Children should be taught that failure is part of success and to focus on the process rather than the results. Parents need to stop focusing just on their feelings and make a place for those of their child so he can be heard and seen.