Harsh Parental Expectations Lead To Low Teen Self-Esteem

Harsh Parental Expectations Lead To Low Teen Self-Esteem
Harsh Parental Expectations Lead To Low Teen Self-Esteem

 

With the onslaught of provocative images in today’s media, many parents of teens are increasing the pressure they put on their children.

From teen grades, to unquestioned obedience, to correcting learning disabilities, parental expectations are high, and the teens are rarely benefiting from such a strict household. When households and parenting styles are of the more authoritarian type – strict on discipline, high on expectation, high in parent-to-teen communication, but low in teen-to-parent communication – the pressure put on the teen in the household leads to mental health and behavioral issues. 

Strict Parenting Styles Do More Harm Than Good

Strict parenting often involves the parents expecting obedience, respect, and a high rate of academic and recreational achievements. Growing up in this household is stifling to a child and teen’s creativity, individuality, and self-esteem. It is hard for a teen to maintain a positive outlook when they are constantly walking on eggshells with their parents, or trying to live up to expectations placed on them. 

Academic expectations are incredibly common, usually with the stipulation that the teen must receive all As, or As and Bs. While this may work for many teens on their own, this does not work for everyone. Strict parents with high expectations do not often take into account the fact that overcoming a learning disability is incredibly difficult, and not even always possible. As a result, teens end up overtaxing themselves and taking a hit to their self-esteem when they fall short of parental expectations. In fact, a survey of middle-aged Americans found that people who had strict expectations placed on them by parents were more likely to report depressive symptoms and poor psychological adjustment. 

How do you know if you're a too-strict parent? Does the following explanation sound like you?