The values and the familial culture that individuals experience growing up can have a direct impact on the mental state of a person later in life. If a particular set of values or a familial culture imposes too much stress on an individual during childhood, it could result in negative consequences. These stresses may be backed by good intentions of the parents, or they maybe resultant of negligence. For this paper, I will discuss the former. The stresses stemming from seemingly positive intentions of parents wanting what is best for their children can cause issues for a person later on in life. One stress that many children experience throughout growing up involves education. Parent’s generally stress the importance of education to their children. Whether it be getting up to go to school, or buckling down to get some homework completed, these childhood responsibilities can no doubt be stress inducing. These stresses can be augmented depending on how much pressure is put on success in education. A description of a common parenting approach among Chinese people involves rigorous education programs, instilling the idea in children that in order to live a pleasant life, one must be the best of the best in school. “Across China, stories of  parents  going to incredible lengths to give their only children a competitive edge have become commonplace” (Clark). This devotion to the education of children is, on one hand, endearing and inspiring. However, the pressure that is being put on Chinese children to perform can sometimes become too much. “This culture of pressure and frustration has sparked a mental-health  crisis for young Chinese. Many simmer in depression  or unemployment, unwilling to take jobs they consider beneath them” (Clark). The same pressure that parents used to push their kids to work hard in school, seemed to have somewhat of a detrimental effect on their capacity to excel in the real world, once school is behind them. “Rosa Chow Wai-chun says that while a few children excel under the suffocating heat of competition, more are pushed into near-desperation. She cites a growing trend of children aged five to 12 seeking psychiatric help” (Staff – S. China Post).
The issues of unemployment and depression are compounded by another issue. Some believe that regardless of the whether a student becomes the best of the best, there is an issue with what they are becoming so good at. In his book, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon, Yong Zhao (an author and teach that taught in China) discusses what he thinks are the issues with the material that Chinese children are being forced to master. He worries that it is killing creativity. “Chinese education produces excellent test scores, a short-term outcome that can be achieved by rote memorization and hard work, but like the Chinese government itself, it does not produce a citizenry of diverse, creative, and innovative talent” (Jackson). This idea makes of stunting the growth of an individual’s creative ability is directly related to how constant pressure to master tasks that zap creativity is zapping the uniqueness of an individual.
My childhood experience regarding my education was not quite so strict as the views that have become commonplace in China. My parent’s pushed me, but I feel that I put more pressure on myself than they did. Perhaps that was their goal, “let me figure out that I need to do well in school on my own.” That’s not too say I was the most studious person growing up, but I can tell you that my childhood education has helped get me where I am today.

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  • Clark, Taylor. “Plight of the Little Emperors.” Psychology Today. Web. 01 Apr. 2016.
  • Jackson, Abby. “Here’s the One Big Problem with China’s Supposedly Amazing
    Schools.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 2015. Web. 01 Apr. 2016. .
  • Staff. “Hong Kong Parents Say Pushing Children Too Hard Doesn’t Work.” South China
    Morning Post. Web. 01 Apr. 2016. .