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The Great Parenting Debates

Economic Crisis Adds to Pressure on Parents

The economic crisis is adding to the pressures on parents today. Getting together college money is even harder than before. That can ratchet up our worry about how our kids are doing in school, because it seems even more important for them to get good grades and perhaps a scholarship. And it seems all the more important to go to a good college, because finding a decent job will be harder than ever.
"Everything has gotten so much more competitive, and it's a tough position for parents," my Pressured Parents coauthor Wendy Grolnick tells Jeanne Jackson De Voe in the Trenton Times.

But don’t let this fear send you toward desperate measures, like bribing your kids to study. Bribes can make kids feel controlled, so why not try other methods first?

For example, how about checking up on your child’s feelings of autonomy, competence and connection? “Children (and adults) succeed when they feel they are in control of their actions, when they feel competent at any given task, and when they feel a connection to other people,” Wendy told DeVoe, whose article is titled Lighting the Fire . But the opposite is also true: often kids will stop trying in school because they're pressured, or they fear failure, or feel alienated.

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