SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) -Today on Kids Under Construction, parenting journalist and expert Donna Tetreault speaks with Denise Pope Ph.D., founder of Stanford’s Challenge Success, about healthy child development.
Stanford’s Challenge Success is a non-profit affiliated with the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, aiming to transform the way society engages with learning and the student experience.
Children today can feel a ton of pressure to perform well in school, especially when it’s time to apply to college. Pope says it’s important to let young students know that success is more than getting good grades or securing the highest-paying job.
“Success is much broader than that,” says Pope. “There are many ways to be successful in the United States. You can really reinvent yourself at any time and it doesn’t have to be this one straight and narrow path.”
It’s important to determine whether kids are engaged and excited about what they’re learning. Unrealistic pressure on children can affect their sleep patterns, force them to resort to cheating and truly discourage them from overcoming academic struggle in a healthy way.
“We’re seeing a lot of instances of mental health issues with kids — anxiety, depression, eating disorders, perfectionism — all caused by this narrow view of how they need to be successful in life,” says Pope.
Pope says it’s understandable that parents feel the need to stress success in school for children, but it’s actually unrealistic as bumps and challenges along the way are perfectly natural.
The goal for parents is to aim for balance and open-mindedness when defining success in school and in life.
To check out the full conversation, watch the video above.