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  • Writer's pictureRuth

P is for Pressure

One of the hardest jobs I think that exists in the world is being a parent or carer. Simply because you have to grow and guide a human forever, while you continue to grow & guide yourself too. I used to look at my parents as if they were finished products but as I get older too, guys…. Adults are just big babies with more responsibility. But if we’re keeping it real, not all parents/carers act in the same way.

You’re at the age where you’re constantly being taught, guided and directed. Not because you’re dumb & incapable of leading yourself but because there are systems in place (e.g. school education) to ensure you get the information that’s said to be important for you to make your own decisions in life.

Biologically, the part of your brain that’s responsible for making rational decisions (the frontal lobe) isn’t fully developed till we turn 25!

Now, I don’t think that even happens to the best it can be. But it’s just a moment of life that certainly changes as you get older. For example, if you ever go to uni you’ll notice that the learning style is so different. It’s an environment where you’re encouraged to use that frontal lobe to the max because it’s all about making your own judgements with the information and evidence provided.

Ruth where are you going with this?


Through all the guiding and teaching from our parents, carers and teachers, sometimes, it feels like all everyone is doing is applying nothing but PRESSURE to do whatever they want us to do.

Pressure from school makes a bit more sense to understand why. Your school may have high standards for grades or maybe they think you’re not working at your potential or maybe they specialise in certain subjects that they believe everyone should do. Even though you may not agree that the pressure is justifiable or even helping you (I can relate), we usually can see where it may come from.

Parental/Carer pressure now. Boy. Let me just take a moment because there are so many times I wanted (and still do want) to be like

I think the majority of parents/carers have the right idea in mind when they’re raising us. They want to guide us in the right direction and make sure we don’t get hurt or make the same mistakes they made or have seen. Some odd apples in the bunch, can take this too far and be so controlling and manipulative but let’s not go there today.

What do we do when we know our parents are coming from a good place but leave you no room to express your preference & lead your own life?

I don’t know. I don’t think there’s one blanket rule because humans are far too complicated for that, even more, when it’s a parent-to-child relationship.

But, from my experience, what I can encourage you to do is that if you feel really under pressure by parents, teachers, carer etc; try to communicate that to them or someone you know you can trust (even if it’s just to vent).

Sometimes we get blind-sighted by our goal that we forget to check if it’s actually hurting those we care about. So, they may not actually see that they’re putting a lot of pressure on you.

When explaining doesn’t work, I’d try to get someone my parent respected to help give my perspective.

Other times I’d have to break it down and demonstrate my point. Whether that was me eloquently explaining that if you let me go to TGI after school, I’ll get the bus at 5:30 pm which means I can meet my 6 pm curfew & I PROMISEEEE not to be late. Or making sure my drama teacher was the 1st teacher they met on Parent’s Evening so they’d hear my glowing report on my talent so when I bring up wanting to go to BRIT school later, they may be more convinced of my dream.

It looks different for everyone because no one knows your parents/carers/teachers more than you do.

Bend It Like Beckham, is one of my favourite movies that illustrate that 1. Our parents can really get on our backs! 2. When we trust ourselves and what we want to do, it usually works out 3. Eventually, our parents can come around to see what we’ve always known.

But I know it’s hard, girl. I have stories of me pushing the boundaries with my parents and it not always ending up how I wanted. You may be at that stage where it wouldn’t be safe for you to rebel and I wouldn’t encourage that to everyone because life often isn’t as black and white as movies portray it to be.

If you want to rant about the pressures in your life or anything else, our drop-in chat on the website is open from 4-6pm today! If you feel that you’re being pressured into something that you really don’t want to do and if you were to try and explain that, your wellbeing/safety would be affected then please do call Childline: 0800 1111

If you ever feel like you need to leave your home: Runaway Helpline, DePaul or CentrePoint


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