Are Adults Hurting Children by Pushing Them to Achieve?

Photographer: Bruce Matsunaga

Photo credit:

Mariah Draper, Writer

Do your parents push you hard to get good grades? Parents try their hardest to push their children to do their best to get good grades, but sometimes it’s too much. 

Parents want their children to excel in life. They push their children to get good grades and be one of the best people they can be. Parents want to see their children go onto college and be successful. 

According to Newsela, “Last year, a popular and talented student at Los Altos High School collapsed after walking out of English class. She suffered a disabling emotional breakdown after she read her parent’s text message asking her to come home and talk about her grades. The girl, a star athlete and generally a straight-A student, had received a D.”  Parents are putting so much pressure on their children to get good grades. When a student gets a text or a call saying, “ We need to talk about grades,” they panic. I have received that text before and automatically started to panic and get light-headed. As children, we are trying to do the best we can, but the pressure is just too much. 

According to Very Well Family, “Parental pressure to excel can increase kids’ risk of stress, as well as have a negative impact on their well-being.”  Children want to make their parents proud.  My parents are constantly checking grades and checking missing work to make sure everything is perfect. Knowing my parents are constantly checking adds even more stress to make sure everything is perfect and done on time.

Some may argue that parental pressure is essential to children’s academic performance, and children try harder in school to make their parents pleased.  However, according to Adelphi, “When they get a high grade on a test, they will worry about the next one or that someone has gotten an even higher grade. If the grade isn’t the top one, kids will be left with the feeling that they’re just not good enough.” Children should not have to be constantly worried about tests, grades and work. 

According to Kiplinger,The youngest child got a D on an interim report card, and that message got across a lot more clearly when she had no access to television, phone or the Internet for one week.”

Children may not understand a concept and need to get extra help. In my chemistry class, you can take a test the first time and if you get a grade you’re not happy with, you can try again. This gives students opportunities to get help to enhance their understanding and to be able to try again. If parents are punishing their children for getting bad grades, it will put even more stress on the student. High school is already stressful, having to meet new people, different teachers and deal with hard classes. Students need to stop being punished for their bad grades. 

Parents are pushing their children too hard to achieve good grades, and it’s putting too much pressure and stress on students. Students need to talk to their parents and explain how they feel or it will never change.