Monday, December 21, 2015
Tis' the season for Stressing Out! So many people I know are really stressed this time of year. For a mom like me, the triggers are trying to get Christmas stuff together (teacher gifts, gifts for friends, gifts for family, etc.), worrying about money, and wondering how we are going to get everything done on time. For students, the worries are about getting projects and homework done, and thinking about Finals. The pressure to get perfect grades, particularly in high school is intense.
I have read two separate blog posts of late where students are so stressed out and they are silently screaming to their parents to back off. I have high school students and I know first hand that the pressure is real. I have tried to let my kids know that passing grades are what matters. But some of the biggest pressure comes from teachers and other students, especially at competitive schools. It is heartbreaking to see all these very bright students freaking out. But what can be done?
While we can't control how teachers and other students behave, we can think about our own actions. How about as adults that we, ourselves, calm down. I need to do this as much as anyone. I have one kid who is doing well in school and another kid who is close to failing. I am been so worried and I know I am projecting this on to this kid. My fear is that this kid won't be able to go to a U.C. (University of California). But, maybe that is not the worst thing in the world to occur? I myself went to a community college for two years before transferring to a great university. It took me five years to get my degree, but I did it. I think as parents (and teachers) we need to stop buying in to the notion that all kids need to go to university right after high school. Some students may need time to experience life before they are ready to commit to college. Some others will find another path entirely. But THIS IS THEIR JOURNEY, NOT OURS.
Let's show some respect for all that these young people are doing. High school is very demanding. If we adults had to work 8 hours a day, and then come home and do 4 more hours of work (plus volunteer and participate in a sport), we would be tearing our hair out, too. We would either ask for more money or look for another job, right? But kids are stuck in this job until they graduate.
I hope in the new year that we can make a point to care, to guide, and then to BACK OFF of our students. And I need to do this as much as anyone.