Do We Put Too Much Pressure On Our Kids?

My DH and I were able to attend our son's high school open house last night. It was good to get to meet his teachers and interact with them. Unfortunately, we talked so much to each teacher we were not able to get to 3 of his classes.

What I was surprised to see:

  • Parents aggressively confronting teachers regarding their child's grades (i.e. Pre-Calculus)
  • So few parents attending the open house (for two of his classes we were the only parent to show up)
  • Parents expressing their displeasure with their kids academic performance to other parents in public
What my DS has said recently:
  • Kids eat too much junk food (my son is not perfect, but compared to others one coke per week and candy bar doesn't seem excessive, from what I understand that is the typical breakfast for his friends)
  • DS is shocked that kids seem to eat excessively and continuously, whenever they stop on his band trips the kids pile out to buy junk food galore (my son has always been one who eats when he is hungry and doesn't typically gorge himself, apparently my DS was almost to the point of getting sick when he saw some of what his friends were eating and how much)
  • People don't know how to enjoy downtime and just take it easy occasionally
  • People don't take the time to be with their families
  • People always seem to put too much pressure on themselves
  • People are too materialistic
  • Girls don't understand how to dress and presents themselves with modesty (such and such would look so much nicer if she removed her make-up and didn't dress in short dresses/some of the latest trendy clothes)

What I heard from my DS today:

  • One parent was at school today and approaching several of their child's teachers about their child turning in additional assignments in order to improve their grade (today is the last day of the six weeks and the grades must be turned in today)
  • Several kids were visibly upset that they were receiving "B's" in an advanced placement class and afraid of the repercussions from their parents
  • That our son is glad that he doesn't have to face this type of 'pressure' from us, he says that we have always expected him to perform his best and if he says that he has done his best then that is good enough for us, no additional pressure (but he does give us a heads up on classes that are going to be grades lower than 95, we always ask if he thinks there is something that he thinks he might need to do differently and we have an upfront discussion)
  • Several of his classmates are getting fewer than 3 hours sleep each night because they are overly involved in extracurricular activities and with the AP class demands they are stretched to exhaustion, they are falling out in classes and look terrible
  • Our son is heavily involved in band as his extracurricular activity and as he says that is enough to stretch and challenge him in addition to his class load; (some of his classmates are involved in sports, AP classes, cheerleader, 4H, etc and are expected to give 110% to everything)
What I recognize is that I have these type of tendencies. I explained to my son that I could see myself getting this overemotional on his behalf, as you can tell from some of my postings, right!!!
I guess what I am trying to say is that I keep getting affirmations everyday that I am not in control of my life or my son's no matter how much I think so...

I have been lifting up in prayer my recognition of my need to surrender and trust the Lord to direct and lead my life and my son's life each and everyday.

My writings seem to be getting more intense the closer to graduation from high school we come. My DS is scheduled to graduate May of 2010 and we have a ways to go, but it seems to be going faster than I expected. I am full of apprehension and some fear of the future, but at least in stating it, I am taking steps to pray and study the scriptures to assist me in this period of my life. I would appreciate your lifting these concerns up in prayer...

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