“Therapy” With Z

A new bi-weekly column. A place to talk, listen, and share…


High school is a hard time in life to go through, with the mental health issues to gossip, and let’s not forget about COVID 19 throwing everyone off. I decided to reach out to some students to see what their biggest struggles were. One of the struggles is a lack of self-confidence. Many times the lack of confidence comes from an unhappy childhood or even by parents constantly putting their kids down. The question is, why do parents put children down? Well, an anonymous fellow student at Porterville high school asked, “My parents are always comparing me to other people and it bothers me a lot. Why do they feel the need to always compare me?” I did some research and found that some parents use a technique called guilt trapping. For example, your parents may ask you to do something and they may get mad and pick at the things you did wrong, which may lead to feeling like you can never do anything right. Another thing they may do is unfairly compare you to others that are better in the way your not. Your parents could say, “Your brother is earning a lot more money than you.” Even though they might be older or have a better job.  Parents can also seem to have impossible standards that can’t be met at our age. Or they even set a high standard and once you reach that standard, they make another one even higher which also messes with your confidence because you feel like no matter what you do, you’re not doing enough. Parents even say that they’re doing it out of love, discipline, or it’s just good parenting, but could this be manipulation? “How do we know whether it’s manipulation or not?” you may ask. If it is good parenting then you will feel love, warmth, and as if you deserved the discipline. You would be able to create boundaries and respect theirs. You can be honest without fear of getting in trouble or put down. You wouldn’t have constant anxiety to please them if it’s healthy parenting. Everyone is raised to think that the parenting that they have is normal just because that’s all they were taught, then they grow up and realize that there are many different ways of parenting. “How do we deal with this as kids?” you may ask. You can try to call it out as much as possible. For instance, if your dad says “I wish you were more like your friend and get more things done” you can address what there doing and tell them that they’re comparing you and that you don’t like it. Then simply ask them to stop, they might not even realize that they are doing it or that it bothers you. Easier said than done but you should stand up for yourself. Overall try to use more communication, they do say communication is key!

*Feel free to comment or ask questions for Z!