When Kids Are Pushed Too Hard: Anxiety and Depression from Overachieving
It is a parent’s job to push their child to be successful. Encourage them to achieve success in all that they do. But there is a tipping point. When the push becomes a shove. This is when the negative effects set in. Did you know anxiety and depression can be linked to overachieving?
Often the pressures of living up to high expectations can make teens feel trapped. Pressure can come from sources all around, including parents, teachers, and friends. When young people feel overwhelmed or burdened by an endless list of expectations, this can lead to negative effects. It is your job as the parent to shift the culture. We should keep the focus on achievement but put an emphasis on well-being.
Addressing Overachieving Attitudes
There are many ideas on how to tackle this issue within the home. Here are some quick tips on ways you can address overachieving attitudes with your teen:
Create a low-stress environment at home. Set limits on your child’s activities. Overscheduling them can be exhausting for the entirely overwhelming.
Celebrate their small successes. The teenage years fly by. Allow your teen to be a teen. Enjoy the small victories rather than harping on what else they could’ve done better.
Allow them space to find their happiness. When teens get caught up in trying to please everyone else, they often lose their own sense of peace and happiness. Make sure they have time to explore the things they want to do. This could include being involved in a sport, volunteering, or writing in their journal. This is a great way for them to catch a break from their daily obligations.
Keep communication open. It’s true, communication is key. You should always keep in check with your teen. Ask them how they are feeling. Make sure they know you are there to support them. Letting your child know you are there to help them navigate their way through life can go a long ways.
Find the positive in failure. Sounds weird right? A certain level of failure is healthy. When your child doesn’t meet an expectation or goal that was pressed upon them, that’s okay. Talk through it with them. This is a teachable moment. Create a plan on how they could approach the situation differently next time. Don’t overreact to the things that won’t matter later on.
Elevations Residential Treatment Center Can Help
Elevations RTC is a program for adolescents ages 13-17. Elevations provides an intensive, highly professional, therapeutic program utilizing an interdisciplinary approach. The program includes college preparatory academics, therapeutic recreation activities, and individual, family and group psychotherapy. Coping skills, communication skills, and incorporation of healthy activities is a key part of this program. Elevations gives students the tools they need to lead healthy, happy lives.
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Jennifer has extensive experience working with adolescents, having worked in the field of adolescent treatment for over 25 years, she has worked in a variety of settings including residential treatment, therapeutic boarding, and wilderness. Currently, she is half of the executive team at Elevations, sharing this role with Judi Jacques.
Jennifer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she received her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Utah in 1997. Certified in DBT, and trained in treating all mood disorders, trauma, substance use, and family difficulties, Jennifer likes to focus on preparing each student for a successful transition from treatment to their next adventure in life. Beginning on day 1 of the treatment process, her goal is to prepare the student for success. Often recognizing the need for creativity and affirmation, Jennifer encourages the entire treatment team to find ways to access each student’s motivation and join them in the change process rather than engaging in a power struggle, something that commonly erupts when working with adolescents.