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Opinions of Sunday, 30 January 2011

Columnist: Ayiku, Vernon

Pressure, Misery & Stress (PMS)

It’s not only your teenage girl battling PMS

By Vernon Ayiku

Drugs, sex, exams and parents; being a teenager is not as carefree as it seems, according to Health Canada, up to sixty percent of Canadian teenagers are stressed. Due to the mental and emotional toll of dealing with peer pressure and broken families, and the physical changes within their bodies, suicide has become the third leading cause of death in adolescents. The teenage years are an important time that shapes a person. The lessons learned within that time period influence teenagers for the remainder of their lives. It’s for this reason many parents put pressure on their children to succeed, which leads many students having a fear of failure. Parents and schoolwork are the largest causes of stress within teenagers, and many parents are unaware of the amount of stress they are putting their child through.

University application deadlines have recently past, and any student applying can testify about the pressure of fighting for limited program spots. Sleepless nights and long class hours, combined with the pressure of getting into university can at times be overwhelming. Almost twenty percent of teens have dealt with depression due to stress, often caused by parental expectations to succeed. The goal of teenagers often differ from their parents’, and consequently adolescents feel their personal goals will be disappointing. This leads to the average person changing careers three times in their working life.

Not every child will become a doctor, lawyer or engineer, but many children believe that not achieving a high paying job, will result in disproval from their families. Miserable, they are forced to pursue careers that may be financially satisfying, but personally unrewarding. It has gotten to the point where the norm in society seems to be to hate your job. Money isn’t everything, but it seems to be the only thing that matters to some parents when it’s time for their child to pick a career. Only forty seven out of one hundred people entering the medical field will become doctors, and only Forty percent of students applying to law school are accepted each year. Logically, it is sensible to allow children to explore other career options.

Teenagers are constantly bombarded with decisions, every choice appearing to have significant implications. Today’s teens live in a far more challenging culture that demand more difficult decisions than parents made at their age. Parents can ignore the talents of their children, which limits The path a child might take. Teens of both stable and broken families are all at risk of making bad choices in life. It is the teens that are isolated and held back who are failing when faced with, peer pressure.

Anne Frank said, “Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right path, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands”. Rest assured parents, children indeed appreciate all the sacrifices and hard work you have done for them, but there comes a time where you must allow your child to grow on their own. The pressure you may be putting on him or her just might be stressing them out.

Source: Vernon Ayiku