Home' Capricornus Quarterly : December 2011 Contents 12 | Capricornus Quarterly December 2011
It's not just
writes Michael Grose at www.parentingideas.com.au
Teachers tell me that stress is a
constant companion for many
primary schooled-aged children...
There are many possible causes
for increased feelings of stress, but I
suspect some of it comes from pressure
that young people and children put
on themselves. This obviously re ects
the pressure that can come from others
such as parents and teachers for them
to perform well in school. There is no
doubt that many parents underestimate
the impact of their expectations on kids.
It's quite natural to want your kids
to do and perform at their best,
however not every child will respond
positively to parent expectations.
Parental expectations on
kids' academic, sporting and
other achievements can be tricky to get
right. If they are too high, or at least
higher than their capability, then many
kids just give up. It's better than trying
and failing, which can seem like letting
down their parents. Alternatively, they
may make excuses for not taking part
in an activity, game or sport. Some
children will try to meet abnormally
high parent expectations, but
their efforts may well come at the
cost of anxiety and, in some cases,
depression due to excessive pressure.
It's hard to always perform at
your absolute best all the time. In
fact, high achievers in most elds
of endeavour know when to coast
and when they really need to apply
themselves. Birth order also plays
a part in parental expectations. As
adult approval is a high driver for
eldests, they are more highly in uenced
by parent expectations than children in
any other position. They are also more
likely to be perfectionists, which makes
them more prone to suffer when
parental expectations are excessive.
Many rst borns become risk-averse
sticking to the safe and achievable,
which is a great stress-reduction strategy.
Expectations are most helpful
when they are realistic and in
line with children's age, abilities and
their interests. Sometimes we can
expect just too much from our
kids, for all the right reasons. Better
to have positive, yet achievable
expectations rather than expectations
that are too high or too low.
Getting the balance right will
hopefully motivate kids to achieve
without them feeling overwhelmed,
worried or overly-anxious. Ideally, all
kids will be self-motivated, not needing
adults to lead the way. As human nature
suggests many kids need a push to reach
a little higher. We just need to make
sure that the push is not excessive,
and the end result is worth pursuing.
So how do your expectations of
kids' behaviour and achievement
rate? Are they too low, too high or
just about right? Do they re ect your
own ambitions, or your children's
interests and abilities? Want a simple
answer? Ask yourself how your kids
would answer these questions. I suspect
it will be different for each child,
but then again worry, stress and
anxiety is different for every child.
And it's what your child thinks and
feels that's paramount here.
Katie Marsden, Year 12,
has undoubtedly been
challenging It has allowed
me to develop as a leader, a
student and as a young adult.
I think the most important
aspect of leadership is to
remain genuine. By immersing yourself
in the everyday life of those who
elected you, you're able to lead within,
rather than from above. You become
approachable, dedicated, reliable and
willing. I've learnt valuable lessons from
my experiences here at Grammar, and
will undoubtedly apply what I have
learned to future situations.
Catherine Cassidy Year 7
Chair of the Year 7 Committee
I wrote a speech and was
elected at the beginning
of the year. Committee
members go to classes to
learn what students want
to improve. We talk about
it and see what we can do.
Committee members are really good
to work with. We are all equal and work
together. I like leading and making sure
everything works properly. Sometimes I
do need to pull myself back and let others
do. [I will] be sad to leave Primary. I had
fun. The teachers were great. There will
be a lot more people [at Middle School ]
and you're back at the bottom but ... I'd
love to have a leadership role there.
Year 11 Angus Campbell
volunteers for many RGS causes and
I try to act decently toward
others and to be an example
to students. By ser ving at
events I lead by example.
Whatever I do, I try to take
part in a leadership role.
Leaders must be able to
communicate clearly and decisively,
respect other people's different points of
view and act responsibly.
continued from previous page
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