The pressures of the real world

The real world can be a scary place. As I reach the end of my first year of work, I can safely say that I still don’t feel like a “grown up” and I definitely still feel scared about everything I might face ahead of me.

This week in particular, has made me realise that if I feel so scared about the real world, how must the children I teach on a daily basis feel? They are having to deal with their own problems, as well as any additional issues and pressures put on them by their parents.

A couple of things lately have made me realise that often, the irritating child in your class, or the kid whose name you hear countless times in one day, are only actually causing problems because of their over-bearing, pushy parents who are letting their own worries spill into their children’s lives.

In the last week, two boys from Years 7 and 8 have broken down into tears after getting in trouble, as they don’t want to disappoint their mums.

Not wanting to let your parents down is a natural feeling, but should your children really be so worried and scared of you, that they break down into tears? My gut feeling tells me no.

At age 12 and 13, I find it both worrying and upsetting that young boys and girls feel so much pressure. At 22 years old myself, I can safely say that this is the first time in my life that I have felt in any way pressured and stressed – and it’s making me feel awful. How is it fair then, that someone 10 years my junior should feel the same?

Stress makes you crazy! This morning in a fit of rage and not being able to find anything to wear (yes, it’s the little things that get to me) I shouted at my mum, slammed the front door and cried as soon as I was sitting down in my car. Not normal, I know – but actually, it made me realise that those students from Years 7 and 8 are feeling exactly the same as me.

Stressed, pressured, over worked and utterly and completely exhausted.

So I asked myself this, why do we put so much pressure on both ourselves and those people closest to us? Is it fair to let your own worries rub off on others? Especially those who are at an age where they should be having fun and living a simple life.

The real world is a scary place, but I think that’s something children need to learn on their own. I’m old enough now to get over myself and move on, but I worry that these children aren’t able to do the same.

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