Overwhelmed Students or Overwhelmed Parents?

Makani Robertson

Since the pandemic, many aspects of everyday life have felt more overwhelming.  For students specifically, one of the biggest stressors is school and the pressure to get good grades, especially with the semester ending soon. Much of that pressure can come from parents and parents’ expectations about grades.  

While some kids care about their grades on their own, others feel forced to get good grades because of their parents.  Sophomore Laila Fierro says, “I care about my grades, but I think my parents care more.” She also says, “I’m more stressed because they put the pressure on me.”  

Some students wouldn’t care about school at all if it wasn’t for the fact that their parents constantly pressure them into getting good grades.  With some other kids, it’s the opposite.  Their parents don’t care what grades they get, so they have to make it a point to get good grades.

Senior Ambrose Mendoza says, “My mom tries her best not to make me overwhelmed, but there are many times she’s done it without necessarily thinking she did.” It’s not only the students that are feeling overwhelmed. 

Parents can also get very overwhelmed for many reasons.  One of the biggest reasons for stress in general is work.  With parents, some of them work along with taking care of their children, and that can be very stressful.  They have to make sure their kid is doing well in school while also finding a way to pay the bills.  

Some parents have very high expectations for their kids, and they want them to do the best they possibly can.  Parents might also still be going to school themselves, which is more added stress.  

Mrs. Lopez, a biology teacher at Sultana, says,  “the most stressful aspect for me is that I do not want to mess my kids up, and it’s always the fear that my decisions aren’t the right decisions for them and it will mess them up in life.” This shows that parents think about their kids first, and that students should give them a break sometimes.  Parents aren’t always the villain the student makes them out to be. 

Mrs. Lopez also says, “The hardest part of teaching and being a mom is not having enough time for my own kids and spending too much time at school. Then by the time I get home, I’m so tired and I just want to relax.” This just shows how stressful parenting can be, especially when parents are working a lot. 

School, work, and taking care of a child is a lot of work, but that is no reason for parents to take out all of their stress on the kids.  Parents should have an understanding that their child is already stressed out from the added pressure of wrapping up the first semester of in person school after quarantine, and they need to find a way to help, not make it worse. 

Even though both parents and students are stressed, there are ways for them to help each other out.  One of the most helpful ways for students and parents to help each other out is to listen to each other, and understand what the other person is saying.  

Communication is key when it comes to parents and students coming to a mutual understanding and helping each other reduce stress.  One way that parents and students can communicate and build that trust is by talking about everyday events on a regular basis. 

One of the most important aspects to sharing personal details about the day is if the parent and student trust each other.  If you do not have that trust with your parent yet, and you do not know how they will react to bad news, or you think that they will react poorly. 

You need to communicate what you need from them before you tell them the bad news. For example, “ I need to tell you about a problem I’m having. I just want you to listen right now so you know what’s bothering me. I’m not ready for advice yet.”

Directly telling your parents what you need from them will help improve the conversation and your relationship.  

Lots of people in the world are stressed out for various reasons.  You never know what someone is going through and how much stress they have on their shoulders.  Students and parents alike both have a right to be stressed, but we don’t need to add fuel to the fire.