Do parents pressure students to make good grades?

Parent effect on students

SAN MARCOS- As Texas State students enter finals week, their time is dominated by studying for exams and completing projects. For some students, demands for good grades by their parents adds to their stress.

Texas State University students report that some of their guardians are too hard on them about school, and this could just add more stress to them. Most parents are involved in their child’s school life, but too much involvement and pressure can add unnecessary stress to their student. Jake Gray, a senior at Texas State, said that some parents ask for too much.

“It’s not easy being a college student,” Gray said. “We are trying to figure out what we are supposed to do with our lives on top of juggling schoolwork and actual work at the same time. Parents need to understand not everyone here is goofing off, we are stressed about life and how we are going to reach our goals and land a career job.”

Jake has the financial support of his family to help him through college, but he does work to use his own money for his needs.

“I’m blessed to say that I don’t have to pay for my tuition since my parents help me with that,” Gray said. “I can’t imagine what students go through who have to pay for their own university, on top of having strict parents. I understand already how tough it is out here.”

From the eyes of a college student to the eyes of a professional, the thoughts are similar. Jordan Dulaney is a certified therapist located in Houston who talks to young adults all the time.

“I constantly have patients come in about school stress,” Dulaney said. “I have talked to some parents in my past experiences, and some really believe that being hard on their child makes them a better student but that’s not necessarily the case. It can cause serious mental health issues in their future like depression and anxiety.”

Jordan’s message to parents out there is to try and communicate better with their students and realize that being strict about grades can have a negative effect on academics.

“I understand the parents, they just want the best for their kid,” Dulaney said. “Now I’m not saying let your child do whatever they want without consequences, but at least cut them some slack if you see they are really trying. On that note, parents can be a little strict about grades, but not too much. What I mean is to encourage them to get good grades, and provide help in any way possible, but at the same time allow them to learn from their mistakes and face consequences so that they learn and adapt.”

Some students have a different take on this situation. Jorge Marichalar is a junior at Texas State, and he says strictness can help a student in many ways.

“I don’t mind strictness, parents just want to see their kids succeed and care about their child future,” Marichalar said. “When I have kids, I’ll tell them they need to keep their grades up or else they could go down the wrong road and not have a good job. Nowadays having good grades sometimes doesn’t cut it, people are competitive now, people who are hiring want the best of the best, especially in high paying jobs.”

Jorge says being too strict can be a problem, and that it must be the right balance or else it does turn out bad for the student.

“I don’t mean I’m going to punish them horribly if they don’t get A’s and B’s, but at least tell them to try their best and I need to see proof of that,” Marichalar said. “I’m in college, my grades are decent, and I know how much work needs to be put in to get high grades. If I see my child partying it up all the time then fine, but if those grades are low then that’s where I’ll have a problem with them.”

There are two sides to this argument, and research to back up both ends of the rope. Parents will control their children how they want but should do the research about their parenting tactics first.

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