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Emialion
Emialion asks:
Q:

My parents have unreasonable expectations, and I can't cope.  I'm upset and crying all the time.  I need help.

I am a 17 year old girl, and am going to be a senior in high school. Since sophomore year, my parents have been putting an a lot of pressure on me about grades and my commitment to getting into a good college. They don't think the A's and B+'s that I get are good enough, and they compare me to friends who get better grades. This summer, my mom expects me to work at least 6 hours a day on SAT prep, AP work, and things such as the college essay, and whenever I ask to do things with my friends she shoots me down. I can't handle the stress of having to live up to these expectations or the consequences if I don't. I feel like no matter how hard I try, it's not good enough and my parents don't listen to my opinion or give me a chance to try and get things done on my own. I've been under overly much pressure from my mom for a really long time, but with college applications coming in the fall, it increased to where I can barely talk to them. No matter how a conversation starts, it always ends in an argument about college stuff. How do I deal with this? There are only a few people who I trust enough to talk to, and they can't do much to help. I'm falling apart-it's getting to be hard to focus on things without getting distracted, and I jump on any excuse to get away from my family. When I talk to my mom, I'm almost always on the verge of tears, and often, I cry myself to sleep.  My parents support the person they want me to be, not who I actually am. Can you help me? I really need it.
In Topics: Teen issues
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Aug 8, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

It certainly sounds like your parents put a lot of pressure on you and that due to that, you put a lot of pressure on yourself.  You can only change one of these things, and that is the amount of pressure you put on yourself.  You can't change what your parents expect, just what you expect.  Try to be good to yourself by recognizing that you are doing your best and giving your all, whether your parent recognize it or not.

Have you ever told your parents abotu the huge amount of pressure you feel?  Sometimes parents get really caught up in trying to make sure their kids do the best they can that they lose sight of the pressure they may be putting on their children.  It may be good to write out how you feel in a letter and let them know.  Don't criticize them or try to tell them what to do, that may just make the defensive, but tell them how stressed and pressured you are.  Tell them you are doing your best. Tell them that you are so strung out, you are feeling it is beginning to effect your ability to perform.  It's at least worth a discussion.

We are glad you find ways to stay out of the house and away from your parents.  Continue to be involved in activities that you enjoy so that you can get those breaks.   It's not going to solve the problme you have with your parents to avoid them by staying busy, but it can make living with the more managable.  

Please take care and remember that you can call the Boys Town National Hotline 24 hours a day at the number below, free of charge.  We are here to help, you are not alone!

Counselor, NZ

Boys Town National Hotline-A Resource for Parents and Teens
www.YourLifeYourVoice.org
1-800-448-3000
Friend us on FACEBOOK today &
Access the live on-line support feature on www.yourlifeyourvoice.org  8-11p CST M-Th

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Additional Answers (3)

BrendaKayden
BrendaKayden writes:
Don't cry. :( We've all been through something at one point or another. I think you need to allow them to see that there is too much preassure. Is there an adult at school that you trust? Maybe another family member? An aunt or uncle, grandmother? Talk to them first and get them to help you talk to your parents. There are always boys and girls clubs and the local YMCA would be able to point you in the right direction. There are a lot of programs out there that help stressed out teens.

Maybe write your Mom a letter or email. It would help her process what you're saying without you actually being there.

I'm sorry you're going through this. Remember that your parents love you and want the best for you even if they are doing things in a way that stresses you out.
> 60 days ago

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KatrinaImsland
KatrinaImsl... writes:
You need to tell them exactly what you have told this blog.  If your parents love and support you they will listen to you.  Just give them a chance.  They sound like they only want the best for you but may be leaving your feelings out of the equation right now.
> 60 days ago

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shy.tack
shy.tack writes:
To anyone who stumbles on this post, confront the issue now (or as soon as possible). I let my parents' expectations guide me to college, except once I got to college, I found out I had become too dependent on their pressure. I found out my inherent motivation to continue on this track was close to zero, but I let my waning reverence for them continue pushing me along. And guess what? Senior year, I failed a required class because I no longer give any f**ks, I think about dying daily, and I'm basically lying to everyone about having graduated.
3 days ago

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