Are you an overachiever? Are you children a byproduct of that ambition?
Recent studies in the US have shown that teenagers that are “high achievers” can be susceptible to mental or behavioral health problems.
Based on an article in the Washington Post, the “National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine added youths in “high achieving schools” to their list of “at-risk” groups, along with kids living in poverty and foster care, recent immigrants and those with incarcerated parents.”
With the growing competition to get into college and low acceptance rates, high-performing children feel the need to outcompete their peers for that spot.
The pressure keeps building...what are some of the effects?
- Higher rate of anxiety
- Increased chance of depression
- Climb in substance abuse
- Escalation in cheating
- Heightened peer envy
These effects are so prevalent in youth right now that it accounts for 2-3 times the national average.
A study found that some parenting habits can help thwart the negative effects of this constant pressure:
- Emphasize character traits being equally important or more important than academic achievement
- Having open, frank conversations at home with your teenager
- Do NOT ignore signs of risky behavior, address them instead
- Keep balance at home by giving them time to destress and be present
When our consultants work with teenagers, an often complaint we hear is about parents micromanaging everything or being too critical or hovering over them all the time.
One of the reasons we’ve had much success is because our consultants are intelligent, young high-achievers without the baggage. They’ve been in that situation but succeeded so they can see the warning signs and be more empathetic when they’re consulting with your teenagers.
This also takes some of the stress of you. You don’t have to hassle your child on their progress because we can give you an honest account of where they are in the process. Getting into a top school is important but NOT at the cost of losing your child to mental health disorders or substance abuse.