Recently, I was talking to a group of my students about what makes a successful student, and somewhere along the line, we got to talking about how it is easier to study when you’re not being stressed out by your parents. Some students fear that by studying, they will raise the expectations of their parents, and they fear that even if they study, their results may not reflect their efforts. If there’s any parent out there reading this, listen to me. Your children want your approval, not your frowning disapproval.
Family problems affect children in many ways, from additional stress that leaves them less able to learn, to problems with motivation. These are actual, real life things I’ve heard from people:
“Please don’t tell my parents I did well, I don’t want them to raise their expectations.”
“I can do well, I know I’m clever. But I’m not gonna study because my parents want me to do well, and they’re monsters.”
“I don’t study so hard because if I study hard my parents expect me to get A’s.”
Can we see the problems there? We have students out there sabotaging their own futures because they’re not OK with their parents. Honestly, my heart breaks a little bit when I see this happening.
So, parents, if you’re reading this, please: be OK with your children. Let them know you love them. If you’re not the type to use the L-word, find some way to express it. And no, money and toys are not capable of expressing the type of love that children need.
Children, I know it sounds borderline insane to say this, but sometimes you have to be the mature ones. Be able to forgive your parents for their imperfections. If you can do that, I promise you, you would be more mature than many adults out there.
And for the more courageous among you, just come out and tell your loved ones: I LOVE YOU (leh!).
It’s healthy for the soul, and really, if you’re OK with the people you love, everything in life becomes much easier.