How To Overcome The Struggles Of Over Ambitious Parents

By Priyanka Chaturvedi|6 - 7 mins read| October 11, 2023

When Riley decided to pursue a career in culinary, he knew his parents would disagree. The 18-year-old desired to learn about the food culture of various regions of the world. His father, a renowned lawyer, wanted his son to study law. Riley, too, since childhood, had dreamt of following in his father’s footsteps. However, during his college, Riley realized that law was never a piece of cake for him. Breaking out the truth to his parents was probably the hardest part for him, knowing the fact that they would be upset. There are millions of children, like Riley, who feel overwhelmed and struggle due to their over-ambitious parents. 

Parents often picture a perfect childhood as their kids getting up early, going to school, bringing in medals in every activity, and doing their homework. However, such unrealistic hopes of parents have merely proven to show a negative outcome on their kids. According to a survey that involved nearly 12,000 U.S. students and their parents, the academic achievements of such students lowered in cases where the parents had a high parental expectations. Additionally, researchers found that most kids feel the weight of parental influence that often exacerbates their situations. 

‘Is it right to have high expectations from our kids? Is it bad to push our kids to achieve more? Is it not good to have goals in their lives?’ These are perhaps the most asked questions. Certainly, ambitions have proven to be helpful in boosting a child’s performance, but exceeding expectations raise numerous concerns at a later point in their lives. Kenneth Kaunda says, “Ambition never comes to an end.” In this article, we will highlight some of the most common ways children might feel unconscious and overwhelmed due to towering expectations. We will also figure out some helpful tips that will make your child enjoy a stress-free life. 

Over Ambitions- The Downsides To It

Psychologists believe that kids who grew up feeling the weight of high parental expectations find it challenging to discover their true identity and a sense of contentment. The next thing is stress. Yes! We ain’t making this up. Not only does being pushy make your kids susceptible to stress, but they also miss out on their childhood fun. Despite these low-key consequences, why do we push our kids so hard?

The truth is— as parents, we always want good for our kids. Of course, we love them, but it’s important for us to understand the situations when we should take a step back and let our child enjoy life. It is normal to be stressed about your kid’s future. However, some parents compel their own children to make certain sacrifices to benefit their egos. Encouraging your kids to succeed doesn’t necessarily resonate with putting several restrictions on them to satisfy your sense of superiority. In fact, such kids end up being too stressed and unhappy in their lives. Furthermore, cases of suicide among such kids are more frequent in comparison to their peers. 

Perhaps, there are a lot of instances where parents limit their child’s activities. In fact, several studies are evident of the fact that children who actively participate in extracurricular activities are likely to have a higher level of academic progress, self-confidence and lesser signs of social anxiety and other behavioral concerns. Of course, you can try cutting back the amount of time he puts into such activities, but restricting them completely might be too extreme. It is essential to give them enough time to relax and explore their interests. 

Tips To Create A Healthy Environment For Your Kids

We, as parents, have a wide spectrum of opportunities to make our child’s life easier, stress-free, and healthier. Encouraging and empowering our kids to discover their potential is a great way to start. Here are four tips that might help you in making your parenting journey much easier. 

Support Their Dreams

Supporting the ambitions of youngsters will act as a driving factor in analyzing their talents and skills. Likewise, it is equally important to understand the difference between perfection and ambition. While perfectionism is an outer coating of low self-esteem on the outside, ambition, on the other hand, can be defined as the ability to stay focused and motivated despite all hardships. While perfectionism turns the surrounding more competitive, ambition, in turn, results in satisfaction with every step you make forward. Small acts of applauding your child’s achievements, even the smallest ones, will encourage them to achieve better in the future. Inculcating the values of confidence, honesty, and compassion is another important aspect that should be considered.

Help Them Discover Their Talents And Interests

The next thing you can do is to help them learn about their interests and talent. It is meaningless to follow an ambition without a zeal for your interest. Therefore, it is essential to be excited about knowing their interests and to culminate greater ambition in the pursuit of their passion. Give enough time to your kids in their childhood to explore their interests and capabilities so that by adolescence, they have a broader image of their life goals. This will also prevent them from entering into confusing states because, by that time, they will have a good understanding of what they really want to achieve in their lives. 

Let Them Learn From Failures

There is a very thin line between achieving perfectionism and being focused on achieving goals. Perfectionism reciprocates over ambitiousness which comes with a lot of setbacks and failures. Jeremy Clarkson, an English journalist, says, ‘Ambition is a very dangerous thing because either you achieve it and your life ends prematurely, or you don’t, in which case your life is a constant source of disappointment.’ 

It is important to celebrate your kid’s failure as a token of appreciation for at least attempting. Usually, youngsters stop making an effort once they fail. Make them learn that success comes off with a lot of failures. Encourage them to stay consistent and determined and constantly work on improving themselves. With your small efforts, your kid will learn that failure is a part of success. 

Give Them Space

Lastly, give them space for themselves and let them find their way of relaxation. Some might find exercise as their approach to relaxation. At the same time, other kids might find playing guitar or reading a novel to keep them relaxed. If your kid loves to watch television or play video games during their free time, try playing some family games with them to involve them socially. 

Parting Thoughts

With increasing competitiveness, it is normal for every parent to get a little too worried about their child’s future. However, in this race, they often forget what their kids really desire. Especially when the parents are becoming more savvy-minded, it is important for you to know how to follow a balanced approach while parenting your kids. In essence, you should focus more on building a good parent-child relationship rather than becoming a chauffeur in their lives. 

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About The Author:

Priyanka Chaturvedi

Last Updated: Wed Oct 11 2023

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