Am I becoming a pressure parent?

With vacations over and the school reopened with full fervor, the home has become relatively quieter and dull. The kids have got busy with schoolwork. It’s every (Indian) parents dream to see their kids busy with books (at all times!). Our pride in our kids (and on our value system) is directly proportional to the hours our kids sit with books in their hands and of course which in turn must reflect in their report cards! Yeah, that’s the measure we have unanimously agreed upon and have been diligently following for generations.

That’s how things have been for years and that’s how things are now. Most people are comfortable with the system (or at least they seem to be). Do I wish to change the system? Heck…no!! Then why am I complaining? What am I complaining about?

For the last month week or so, I have been one dead busy mother tutoring two second graders, helping them cope with a new school and syllable. The stress is unimaginable. I realize I am creating a lot more stress and tension with the kids and within the home, than I intended to or ever wanted to. My purpose was only to build a healthy academic atmosphere and get the kids fall into a healthy pattern of dedicated study time and motivate them to complete their assignments on time. That’s it. I don’t know when along with the process I turned into a pressure parent the kids dreaded from being one cool happy mommy the kids loved hanging around with. We missed the late night drive to the ice-cream parlor, we didn’t get wet in the rain anymore, our socialization was limited and we laughed a lot less. We bonded a lot less. This is not what I ever wanted. I am sorry, my kids. I owe you an apology.

Here are the 10 pointers that will help you realize when you turn into a pressure parent, from being a well-intending, well-meaning, empathetic and loving parent. The moment you realize this, please take a step back and re-evaluate your approach.

  1. You are always anxious about the kid’s performance at school.
  2. You have frequent fallouts/arguments with your spouse for the child. You think he is way more lenient or non-serious parent.
  3. Your feedback is more negative than constructive or motivational. You chide, urge, push, coax, threaten and sometimes give utterly damaging statements to motivate the child.
  4. Your child’s daily calendar is overbooked with activity and tuition classes leaving him/her little or no room to play, paint or watch TV or any other form of recreation.
  5. Your own social and personal life has taken a backseat. You invest every minute that you can spare monitoring the child.
  6. The relationship between you and your child has become stressed. He/she is more scared or wary of you than before. He/she is reluctant to share happenings at school.
  7. He has fewer friends than before because he spends lesser time with friends.
  8. The child displays high stress, restlessness, sleeplessness, lack of appetite and withdrawal symptoms before exams and before result day.
  9. You call, whatsapp, email or personally visit his/her class teacher more frequently to enquire about your child’s progress in class.
  10. You link outings, eating out, movie/TV time, gadget time and every other possible allowance for the child directly with results, and not hard work.

Undoubtedly, as a parent we wish our children to do their best. However, as a parent, it is very important to stop for moment, be observant of the child as well as our own parenting style and make necessary modifications that may seem small and subtle in the immediate time but will go a long way to strengthen our bonds with our children in a healthy and positive way.

Happy parenting!

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