Here's one thing you might want to avoid doing with your kids as it can cause them anxiety, according to a psychoanalyst

Without realising, many parents today are pushing their children too hard, which according to an expert can have a negative effect on their mental health.

girl sat at computer doing homework
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A lot of parents today are pushing their children too hard and contributing to mental health conditions, an expert has warned.

We all want the best for our children. But sometimes, even when we mean well we can actually have the opposite effect, and this can impact our children's mental health. There are many ways in which our kids might express anxiety to watch out for, to allow us to know if we're getting things right or not.

Erica Komisar, a clinical social worker, psychoanalyst and parenting expert, has revealed that many parents today are pushing their children too hard, often without realising.

The New York Post reported that she told Columbia magazine, “I realized the referrals I was getting were increasingly for younger and younger children. I was a consultant for preschools and primary schools in Manhattan, and I noticed a growing number of children being diagnosed and medicated at an early age for anxiety and depression. I started to look at every bit of research I could get my hands on.”

children doing homework while mum works from home

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Komisar explained that, while the majority of parents want the best for their children, they often don’t know what that is. For example, she’s had parents bringing their children to her because they’ve received B grades, convinced that something’s wrong. 

She went on to say that, as the world is more “complicated and competitive” than it used to be, parents and other people around children just “push and push and push” them. Because of this, we’re “pushing these kids to the brink.”

So, what can we do? First, relax a little bit more, and consider how pushy we might be without realising it. And, addressing parents, Komisar said: “How do you define success in your child’s life? Shouldn’t it involve their being happy and mentally balanced?”

She urges parents to spend as much time with their kids as possible, but without helicopter parenting. Communication should be open, but we should help our kids to deal with experiences that might be overwhelming, rather than do everything for them. 

This doesn’t mean taking your foot off the gas entirely, with Komisar stressing that any parent who suspects suicidal tendencies in their child should take them for an evaluation as soon as possible, but it does mean being a little more relaxed.

In other family news, science says kids with 'intense interest' in dinosaurs have higher intelligence and here are five expert tips for a stress-free house move with kids.

Freelance writer

Adam is an experienced writer who regularly covers the royal family and celebrity news for the likes of Goodto, The List, The Metro, and Entertainment Daily. However, you can also find Adam covering relationships, mental health, pet care, and contributing to titles such as Creative Bloq.