Peer pressure is one thing but parent pressure is another. It has been around forever, but hasn't been as easily recognised. Parent pressure is in schools, sports, arts and careers.
Parent pressure is when a parent puts too much strain on their child to force them to exceed. The pressure is normally to be the best in the chosen field, even one that they used to succeed at and now can't. The pressure can come from any type of family and can be pressure to be the best in the grade in regards to school and receive the highest marks. Or to score the most points or goals in the sporting match and win the best on ground. It would be to play the best music or paint the award-winning picture; or the pressure could be to succeed in the career field and receive the same promotions and scores as the parent once did.
It is one thing to be proud that your daughter or son has excelled and is playing on a sporting team but you need to ensure that your kids never feel pressured to play or impress you in regards to their chosen activity.
All parents love to see their child exceed in sport, school or even socially, but it's not that common that a child be the absolute best in the field. Parents strive for their child to excel and be the highest achiever in all fields sport, art, music, and school and socially but this isn't possible. The joy a child receives from their favourite activity should reflect success. It is human nature to want to excel, an individual puts that pressure on themselves alone, the extra pressure from a parent isn't needed as well.
Parent pressure is something that parents always notice other parents doing but never notice that they are doing it themselves. It isn't the coach or teachers problem to look after the well-being of your child, it is the parents. Often children think they are pressured by their parents the most in regards to sport, especially in Australia as it is a very sports-related country.
Children can relate to parent pressure in many different ways. Some can become over-achievers and need to excel in everything they try regardless of what the activity is. Others can become anxious and afraid to fail which can cause depression. Living up to an expectation can sometimes be very hard and that may discourage the child which means they may turn into the 'I can't' child. The 'I can't' child decides to give up without trying and this can cause them to whine and even become stubborn causing them to not want to try anything new. Children with pressure parents often turn to other revenues to express their pain like self harm, depression, anxiety and substance abuse.
Do parents always know what is best? Generally speaking yes, you have to be there for your child in the real world, emotionally, mentally and physically. A parent often knows their child the best, they have lived through their past pain, joy and sadness and have learnt from making their own mistakes.
The problem that we often see in regards to sports is that parents yell from the sidelines, some parents comments can be great and positive but often enough you hear others that critise referees other players or even verbally abuse their own children. It is not nice for the child or anybody else to listen too.
Losing a game or contest or not getting the highest mark isn't the end of the world and no parent should make a child feel like that. It is easy to explain to a child that only one person can win. Especially at a young age the result isn't really important it is the fun of the game, not who wins or loses.
Sport, contests and even exams come with very physical and mental demands; if an individual is overly stressed about the winning and how they are performing they will lose confidence in themselves. Children become scared that they won't be the best or succeed and then their parents will have trouble accepting them for who they really are. If a child is learning to have fun don't judge them, this is their fun and you don't want to turn them away from what they truly enjoy.
Those that have fun in activities where there isn't a negative approach and when coaches or teachers and parents provide feedback praise and enjoy the fun. This sort of activity is where the experience is exciting and there is a fun element, this is when an individual is more likely to continue participating instead of dropping out straight away and not giving the activity a good chance.
Willie Nelson, an American Country and Western singer said "Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results." This is true, we are the product of our thoughts, if we think or are told we are no good we become that. Encouragement and positive thinking will encourage positive results.