It is only natural for parents to aspire for their children’s success. However, when taken to the extremes, it becomes destructive. Because of the parents’ desire, children are being pressured to excel from a very young age. When parental achievement goals become too much for the child to handle, it leads to more harm than good. This has become the biggest cause of stress among the youth today.
Parental pride is human nature. Parents feel happy and proud every time their children will achieve some form of accomplishment. Just take a look at your social media accounts. How many posts have you seen of proud parents congratulating their children on their achievements? It can be as simple as a child’s first word or first art work to an adult child’s acceptance to a prominent university.
Some parents are taking it to the next level by setting up social media accounts for their newborns. Parents are now raising their children in the social media limelight. But is this parental behavior really good for the children? Studies about ‘sharenting’, a term that means the overuse of social media by parents sharing contents about their children, indicate that such behavior is doing more harm than good to the children. Aside from parents’ violating their child’s privacy, it is also putting unnecessary pressure on the child.
Parental Achievement Goals
Parents only wants the best for their children but sometimes; unintentionally, their parental achievement goals are becoming harmful. Every now and then, it is best for parents to reflect if their achievement goals are really still for the welfare of the child.
Sky Castle: Parental Achievement Goals to the Extreme
Sky Castle, a Korean drama is an excellent drama that deals with this sensitive topic on parenting. It is a story about four wealthy families who lived in a posh and exclusive village called the Sky Castle. The fathers in the four families are all equally successful. Because of the success attained by the head of each household in Sky Castle, they expect their children to follow the footsteps of their fathers. Nothing but only the best is acceptable.
To ensure that the children excel academically and get accepted in one of the top universities in Korea; the parents resorted to extraordinary lengths such as planning the children’s schedules up to the minute details and building a soundproof room for studying. The desire for their children to excel in Sky Castle has become a competitive sports that it brought immense pressure on the children. It was heartbreaking to watch the children’s lives being destroyed one by one as a result of the parents’ quest for achievement.
Although a work of fiction, Sky Castle had succeeded in hitting a nerve. It is so close to reality. Many parents nowadays put emphasis on the children’s achievements. In fact, several surveys done indicated that a great majority of parents; regardless of race, culture and social class, place their children’s achievements or performances as their top concern. Parents praised their children when they excel but blame and punish them harshly if they do not.
This satirical drama is a highly recommended show for all parents out there. As parents, you will learn a lot about the importance of parenting and hardships in raising children. At the same time, it will also give you a deeper understanding on looking at things from the point of view of your children.
Duty of Parents
It is the responsibility of the parents to make sure that their children grow up to be healthy, happy and responsible human beings. It is also the duty of the parents to program their children for success. However, success is relative. The parent’s definition of success may be different from that of the children. Instead of focusing solely on the child’s achievements, it is best that parents focus on helping children achieve their dreams by providing the child with a loving and supportive environment. Remember that not all children are the same. Children have different interests, gifts and talents. It is the role of the parents to find out what these are and unleash the genius within each child . Only be doing so will they grow up to be exceptional individuals.
Updated version. First published in Pinoy Smart Living in 23.08.2019.
Feature Image Credit JTBC of Korea.