Have you ever wondered whether the expectations that you are setting for your child are too high? Is your discipline for the child strong enough? If you ever experience such worry, then you are not alone. The question concerning the extent to which you should push your kids to achieve particular goals presents torment to many parents.
Parenting is a complex responsibility. You do not know when to allow or ban your kids from computer games, the TV, playdates, or even a sleepover. However, there is a tendency among parents to push their children to focus on the piano or their schoolwork. Trouble sets in when you start comparing your parenting skills to those of the neighbor next-door and develop guilt over whether you are raising your kids the right way or not. Feelings of the need to reassess your approach to parenting might then overwhelm you.
It is common for parents to emphasize their aspiration for their kids, especially in academic performance. This assumption has received backup from scientific studies, in which high parental expectations are associated with high academic achievement. However, insight from new research suggests that parental over-aspiration for children is counterproductive.
In this new research, kids performed exceptionally in math when their parents had high aspirations for them on the subject. However, the study shows that the children’s performance in math was severed when the parents had unrealistic over-aspirations for the children. As held by Kou Murayama, the lead author of the study from the University of Reading, parental aspiration might improve a child’s academic performance, although excessive parental aspiration and expectation on the child can be destructive.
To validate their assumptions, the researchers analyzed data obtained from a German study which was conducted between 2002 and 2007. The participants selected were children aged between 11 and 16, and their parents. The researchers analyzed the children’s score in annual math assessments alongside responses from parents who were served with questionnaires which sought to determine their aspiration. Emphasis was placed on how much the parents wanted their children to attain in math, their expectations, and their belief that their children had the potential to achieve the desired grade.
Perhaps, the research conclusion is the most intriguing part. The researchers found that while there is increased academic performance when parents have high aspiration, there is proportional decrease in performance of children when the parents’ hopes overly exceed realistic expectations.
What, then, are the conclusions which should guide your parental aspirations and the academic performance of your child? The conclusions are deep-rooted in the study, and can be summarized as follows:
Having high aspirations for your kid might lead to better academic performance and results. This implies that any approach you adopt to parenting for the purpose of improving your kid’s results should naturally be designed with a focus on higher aspirations.Having unrealistically high aspirations for your kid can proportionately decrease their performance. Therefore, raising your aspirations for your child is not the best solution to improving the child’s achievement in education.
So, where is the silver lining? The secret lies in knowing your child and being honest about their ability. This will help you to set realistic and achievable expectations for your child. Forget the straightforward message sent to parents that if you set high aspirations for your kid, they will achieve highly. Your child’s performance is largely determinable by their ability. High aspirations may only serve to motivate the child. As justified by the study, parental aspiration can only enhance the child’s performance when it is realistic. It is dangerous for you as a parent to simply raise your aspirations for your child to improve their educational success.
Photo via VisualHunt