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How the Pressure to Be Perfect Affects Kids, and What Parents Can Do About It

By Asia Mape, USA Today High School Sports, 05/16/19, 12:00PM CDT

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High-achieving kids have a lot of pressure and stress and it can manifest itself differently.

THE PRESSURE TO BE PERFECT

Adolescent depression, suicide, and anxiety are increasing at alarming rates. Recent studies indicate that as many as one in five teens suffers from clinical depression. As parents, we all want to see our kids succeed in school, in sports, and in life. But sometimes well-intentioned parents, on top of the intensity of comparing themselves to the unreal expectations and messages they get from social media, have created a pressure cooker for many kids. If they aren’t the star athlete, or don’t have a 4.5 GPA, they begin to feel that they are somehow less than. These unrealistic expectations are creating over-scheduled, depressed, and anxiety riddled young adults.