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Parental Standards: From the Teen’s View

by Jacob P. | November 11th, 2013 | School, Teen Perspective, Teens

groundedI have a simple question to ask you: is it reasonable to place your child under house arrest if they aren’t meeting their parents’ standards?  What if they can’t meet these standards?

You see, some of my fellow teenagers have been placed under house arrest this year because of various things.  The main issue that leads to this imprisonment is not having submitted college applications yet, but homework is another problem.  While this may seem reasonable if they were tragically far behind on their applications or failing their classes, it is not the case.  In fact, the majority of these individuals are doing quite well with their processes and have no need to be placed under house arrest.  Rather, it seems that the standards have been set too high.

As a parent, holding standards is important.  It provides your child a bar to measure up to, a thermometer of their success.  Having a way to rate yourself is always important.  At the same time, these standards cannot become unattainable.  Once they become unattainable, it becomes detrimental to the child.  You ultimately end up placing undue pressure on the child, which will stress them out.

In turn, this drives the child to think that their parent may not believe in their ability to succeed.  This is the root of the issue.  A parent should never hurt a child’s self confidence or make the child think that they don’t believe in them.  Rather, the parent is there to build up the child and help the child succeed.  Anything else is a failure to parent properly.  Without a parent who believes in them, how can a child feel loved?

Thus, it becomes necessary for the parent to set reasonable standards.  Sometimes they may be lower than the parent would like, but that is unavoidable.  For example, I have always been expected to achieve all A’s through high school.  This year, though, I have two B+’s.  It’s not a failure on my part, though.  Rather, it is the product of taking four AP classes, applying to college, and playing varsity sports.  My parents understand this and do not hold me to achieve all A’s.  At the same time, if I had C’s, there would be an issue.  Thus, the standards have been placed at a reasonable level.

If a child is unable to achieve their parents’ standards, the standards may be set too high.  It is one thing to set standards at a point where the child has to work for them.  It is another to set unattainable standards and then punish the child for not making this.  This will not lead to success, it will only break the child’s spirit.

And to answer my question: no, that’s ridiculous.

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