As parents, we want our kids to do their very best and be successful. This often means that we provide expectations for our kids to meet and apply pressure to help them meet these expectations in the ways we think are best.
Unfortunately, even the best intentions can backfire, and many parents don’t realize the harm of parental pressure on a child’s mental health until it’s too late. Luckily, parents can easily learn how to motivate their children by applying the right kind of pressure — it just takes a bit of reframing and transformation.
The Art of Getting Parental Pressure Right
In The Unlikely Art of Parental Pressure, Thurber and Weisinger provide in-depth solutions for creating healthy pressure, so parents and other caregivers can motivate the kids they love with immediate and profound positive results. Parents can easily follow the book’s step-by-step advice to turn harmful pressure into healthy pressure through modest weekly adjustments.
Through expert advice and true-to-life sample conversations, parents can learn how to tame their expectations, increase their warmth, earn respect, and avoid rebellion. What’s more, parents can learn how to use a combination of effective praise, beneficial criticism, and questioning to really motivate their child to do their very best in everything they do.
Avoiding The Negative Impact of Unhealthy Pressure
The team at Verywell Family agree that, even when well-intentioned, parental pressure can be harmful for kids. They report that parental pressure can lead to anxiety and overwhelming stress for children if it’s not properly balanced. This constant stress can cause sleep deprivation, low self-esteem, and even physical injuries depending on how the child handles the parental pressure they experience. Over time, these problems can create the perfect storm for a child to develop an anxiety disorder, depression, or other mental health conditions as a direct result of extreme parental pressure.
Furthermore, the harmful signs of parental pressure aren’t always apparent at first, so it may be difficult for parents to know when they’re applying negative pressure on their kids academically or in their extracurricular activities. However, the team at First Cry Parenting says you can quickly determine if the pressure you’re putting on your child is harming them by looking for early warning signs. These signs include lethargy or sudden loss in interests, sudden temper or anger issues, or defensiveness. You can also look for signs of sleep deprivation or secrecy.
Parents naturally want their children to succeed — and with this innate desire comes the tendency to apply pressure. You just need to be careful that the pressure you’re applying is the healthy variety. By combining your high standards with reasonable rules and unconditional love, you can master the art of healthy pressure and help your kids achieve their dreams — but not at the expense of their physical and mental health.
Originally published on Moms.com.