Parenting, Anxiety, and the Pressure to Perform

Join Us for a Conversation!

Anxiety is on the rise in young people. Despite the many conveniences that have been added to our lives, perfectionism and the pressure to perform in our children is costing them something.

But that doesn't have to be the case.

This Monday at Liberty Classical, our next Education in Society event will welcome Dr. Jules Nolan, a licensed psychologist and the president of the Minnesota School Psychology Association. She’s a deeply passionate advocate for children. And she's also an advocate for parents.

In her years of experience - the textbooks she's written, the research she's done, the lectures she’s given - she’s discovered that anxiety in our children is costing them something.

Accidental Missteps in Parenting

What are you doing to reinforce anxiety or perfectionism in your child? It's not always about how strict you are or how structured your days are. It’s often more subtle than that. Dr. Nolan is going to be giving us a glimpse into some things that we do as parents and educators that, while well-intentioned, may be holding them back in life.

In our efforts to help our kids, we may actually be hindering their abilities to develop essential life skills. Their ability to navigate difficulties and process anxiety develops not when we help kids work around their issues, but rather when they work through them.

For instance, if a child has test anxiety, it would seem logical (and many popular educational principles would deem it ethical) to find ways to accommodate that anxiety. Perhaps the child can take the test in an alternative setting, perhaps in a private room or with a teacher to read the content aloud. Such measures can produce higher test scores.

But what has been lost in all of our efforts?

Getting a “C” on the test — but doing it while working through anxiety, difficulty, roadblocks, and fears — could be better than getting an "A" and accommodating those challenges.

The point is that we can’t get so caught up with performance that we forget that we're actually training future adults. Their performance on a specific test or their grade on a certain assignment isn’t ultimately where the battle for their minds and souls is won or lost.

And the list of examples goes on. But so does the inspiration! The essence of Dr. Nolan’s message is rooted in optimism and hope. Much of her work with schools and with children is ultimately an effort to help parents see what they're doing - and what they're NOT doing. There are things we can do, changes we can make, and conversations we can have that will help us as parents to equip our kids with the tools they need.

So join us for the conversation!

Strategies to Promote Student Well-Being

Monday, March 2, 2020
7:00 pm

Liberty Classical Academy Gymnasium
3878 Highland Ave.
White Bear Lake, MN 55110

Dr. Jules Nolan is a licensed psychologist, a nationally certified school psychologist, and the president of the Minnesota School Psychology Association.  An expert in parenting, mental health, and school performance, Dr. Nolan has been an invited speaker at state, national, and international conferences. She is a practicing partner in Phoenix School Counseling, a firm that provides licensed school counselors and psychological services to member schools. Her published works include original research conducted internationally and nationally on topics including classroom behavior, student resilience, and learning, as well as a college textbook on adolescent development titled “Real World, Real Challenges: Adolescent Development in Contemporary Society”. Along with her husband of 30 years, Dr. Nolan has raised 3 (now adult) children who still show up for Sunday dinners and family game nights.