Is it true that parents are more anxious today than they were say 10-20 years ago? And if they are, why? What are they so stressed out about? Do parents have unrealistic expectations of their children, especially when it comes to college, "the" perfect school or the highest SAT scores? Joining Lon Woodbury on "The Woodbury Report", Alexis Avila, the founder of Prepped and Polished, a tutoring and test preparation educational service for kids. Alexis shared his insight into the world of college and boarding school preparation, the families and students who seek help and the pressures and anxieties both parents and students are under. Alexis also explained "that each parent thinks their kid can get into Harvard and they put enormous pressure and control on every facet of the process, creating anxiety in everyone! Parents are losing perspective of what makes their kids happy, they are only thinking of how they look to others.
In big cities where there is a wealthier demographic, parents can be competitive, pushy, and domineering. And with the population boom, there more competition for the available slots at these top notch colleges, which brings out the anxiety even more. Often parents can be hard to handle, for many everything has to be organized and they expect their child to be like that too. These parents want their legacy carried out and to keep up with "the Jones's" and the most stressful of all, they want their child to be an Einstein. For the students we work with, our job is to calm them and their parents down. "I use positive reinforcement. I give them hope and help build their self-esteem and gain confidence. I like to look for the silver lining and use the bright side approach.
Being diplomatic, Lon asked Alexis, how do you calm parents down? "We listen to them, let them vent if need be, (they need someone to talk to), and take notes. Look them in the eye and tell them I understand and build a respectful relationship with them. We are going to do the best we can here, we are going to hold their kid accountable, give them homework and create a plan to raise their grades or whatever that child needs. We make sure everyone acts like a team when we are working with the families." "From my observations, I think the parents who are active in their child's life, but not overly active, do the best job in this process. These are happy families who are all loved, they have fun together and do things together as a family. I also think parents with a sense of humor that are accepting and have a healthy relationship with their kids do a great job too. These are what I call the "silver lining parent", they are awesome and have healthy expectations of their child." Whether they are wealthy or middle class, it is important for the parents to be supportive and accepting.
To contact Alexis Avila:
Listen to the full interview here: Are Parents Too Anxious?
Also available in Podcast
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