Mom Stresses Me Out About School

Published: November 28, 2014
Dear TeenHealthFX,

Lately I feel like all me and my mom do is fight. She is very talkative and we start getting into a conversation, and she always inevitably turns the conversation straight to school. She'll pester me about my homework, she'll remind me of any bad grades I might have, she'll ask about how hard I'm paying attention in class, ect. She does this with EVERY CONVERSATION WE HAVE. It's not even like a daily reminder- she'll just sit there and grill me about school. It's starting to get very stressful and annoying. She does this so often, that now I think of school by just looking at her. She makes me incredibly nervous and stressed about how I'm doing in school- and I have all A's and B's! I'm not even a bad student or anything, but she still feels the need to constantly pressure me about school. I absolutely hate school, and being reminded of all the work I have to do when I talk to her is making me feel like I have no free time to relax. She forces me to always think about school and I have started to loathe her a bit. I have tried actively avoiding her, but it doesn't work. I have also tried telling her to stop and confronting her about it, but she just says that since she is my mom, it's her JOB to remind me. I even tried telling her how stressful it was for me, to be thinking about school all the time, but she just laughed and said that stress was good because it would motivate me to do better in school. Please keep in mind that I have A's and B's. I DON'T NEED TO DO BETTER, I'M FINE. Lately I've been feeling really depressed, and I also lose a lot of sleep. It takes me about 2 hours to get to sleep at night. Once I was chewing on a mechanical pencil, and she walked into the room. I got so upset just SEEING her, that I bit down really hard and shattered the plastic on the outside of the pencil, causing it to splinter and fall everywhere. I saved a really sharp piece of the pencil, and when I get really stressed I start to scratch my arm until I bleed. I hate school, I hate it more then anything else in my life. Now she is forcing me to think about it constantly and I don't think I can take it anymore. I've had thoughts of suicide.


Dear Mom Stresses Me Out About School,

Many parents feel it is their responsibility to make sure their child is taking the necessary steps to be successful academically. Perhaps your mother is doing what she thinks is “her job,” without taking into consideration if her methods are contributing to your success. Unfortunately her approach ishaving the exact opposite effect of what she wants to accomplish. The constant pressing has pushed you in the opposite direction and made you a nervous wreck.

For some reason your mother is not able to see how much of a negative impact her behavior has had on you. There seems to be a lack of communication that would benefit from family therapy..  Counseling could help mom identify more helpful ways to support you with your education. It would also involve you being able to communicate with her what those needs are. The stress in your home environment is intense and needs to be addressed. Effective communication between parents and adolescent can make this challenging period in your life much easier to negotiate for both of you.

It would also be a good idea to set up a meeting with your guidance counselor to go over your school progress. If your academics are fine then your counselor can help reassure your mom that you are on the right track. Regular meetings will facilitate that everyone is pulling in the same direction and towards the same goal. Between the therapist and guidance counselor you will also be able to define what your responsibilities are as well as your mother role in helping you be successful.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area.

If you get to the point that you are seriously considering suicide or are afraid of your impulses then you need to seek help immediately. You can call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. In northern New Jersey you can also call the crisis hotline from Atlantic Health at 973-540-0100. Outside this area call the Suicide & Crisis Hotline, 1-800-999-9999, 24 hours, 7 days a week



Signed: TeenHealthFX