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Teaching Our Daughter That the Pressure of School Will Mean Nothing As an Adult

Oh the pain of being a teenager. I thought I had it rough in school. I had to not only come home with perfect grades to keep my parents happy, I had to figure out where I stood in the hierarchy of society among my peers and live up to the ideal of it. It was a constant competition to be wearing the right clothes, have the right phone, listen to the right music and be able to use the right slang. Now it is even worse! In addition to the peer pressure, our daughter needed A Level physics tuition. She thought that needing a tutor made her substandard when compared to her peers.

As parents, my wife and I advised her constantly that what goes on, as far as peer group nonsense, in this level of schooling will be over and have no bearing on your future as an adult unless you let it. I got the idea to sit down with her and bring out the photo yearbooks of when my wife and I were in school. She laughed at the clothes and the hairstyles. However, I pointed out to her how all these things were what were expected of the in-crowd back then. Then I showed her the social movers and shakers of the time. She was shocked to see that some of the leaders back then were the outcasts today. She saw her uncle who was handsome and athletic who is now in prison. She saw her friend’s mom who was the beauty queen who is now very overweight and drinks too much.

This insight helped her to see how things can change for people. She saw another young boy who had acne and wore goofy clothes who is now the CEO of a nice firm. That was me! Her mom was one of the pretty girls in school, so our daughter asked what she saw in me. Our little girl went to her A Level physics tuition and improved her grades amazingly well. She stopped worrying about looking to fit in and just started to be who she was. It took the pressure off, and taunts, jeers and rude comments now meant nothing. Every time one of the rude kids said something rude, she would picture them as her friend’s mom, overweight and a drunk, and laugh.

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