Surviving Toxic Achievement Culture: Lessons from Never Enough



You have spent countless hours as your student’s full-time chauffeur and cheerleader. The family has set a budget for development camps, private coaching, extra lessons, and tutoring. 几年后, 这一切都会在自信中得到回报, 动机, 专业, 你养育了一个成功的成年人.

There is little left to do now: just narrow the list of potential 学校, 大学论文头脑风暴, 见见大学辅导员. 当然,这无疑将有助于 请一位革命预科教师 and register for the paper ACT or digital 坐 during the athletic off-season. Your student may also need to increase community service hours, 参加校园社团, 然后在选拔赛前上一堂私人课. Oh, and it would be good to run for a leadership role in the club, 为明年选一门高级科学课, 把他们的英语成绩提高到A, 然后开始研究学期论文. 


So, 今晚, 晚饭后, 后练习, and after school (but before bed), you plan to discuss 一切.



也许这是你唯一的孩子, 你的第一个孩子, or the very (very) last time you are going through this pre-college planning phase. Whatever the case, you should know a few updated statistics: 

  • The valedictorian and salutatorian of the approximately 27,000 high 学校 in the country could fill the incoming classes of the top twenty-ranked colleges and universities at least twice. 
  • Forty years ago, the acceptance rate at Yale was 25%. 如今,这一比例约为4%
  • 大学收到的申请数量已经增加 在过去的四年里增长了30%从5,434,484到7,057,980.

The College Admissions Process is becoming increasingly difficult due to increased competition and the scarcity of seats. Children are simply under too much pressure, and the stress has become contagious. 事实上,甚至 初中儿童的母亲受到影响—reporting the highest levels of stress and the lowest levels of life satisfaction. This widespread stress underscores the urgent need to examine the deeper implications on our youth.



不幸的是, our children are at greater risk for poor long-term physical health under such high levels of stress. The adolescent years should be dedicated to exploring personal identity, but many students’ sense of self has become reliant on their achievements. 他们把自我价值与成绩等同起来. Even worse, they link feelings of love and acceptance to high achievement. 说到这里, students attending high-achieving 学校 are 2-6 times more likely to suffer from clinical levels of anxiety, 抑郁症, and substance abuse disorders than the average American teen; these students are now considered an “at-risk” group. It will take a collective effort to mitigate the excessive pressure, 呼吁家长, 教育工作者, and communities to come together to redefine success metrics and foster environments that celebrate learning and personal growth over mere achievement. Until that happens, there are a few things we can do at home:


我们都在温暖和充满爱的环境中茁壮成长. The difference between what is said and heard can be magnified as your child grows in their teens. Young teens can often misinterpret frustration and impatience as criticism and rejection. It is essential to bolster their self-worth by building a close and supportive relationship. You can make them feel unconditionally valued by being interested in them and what they say and cultivating support at home.



Family connectedness is the strongest protective factor against distress, 饮食失调, 还有自杀的念头. 这里有一些你可以做的事情来培养它:

  • Create a safe space for your children to discuss difficult feelings and talk openly about values.
  • Model important habits like asking for help and supporting the less fortunate.
  • Assign age-appropriate chores to show them how they contribute and add value to others, reinforcing their sense of responsibility and achievement.

Children may need your support to emphasize the importance of rest and mental health protection:

  • 优先考虑睡眠: Teenagers require 8-10 hours of sleep nightly, yet fewer than 25% are getting the minimum.
  • 应对精神健康风险: 睡眠不足会带来很大的风险 to teens’ mental health, potentially exacerbating stress, anxiety, and 抑郁症.



在革命预科学校,我们都是 成长心态. 也就是说, adopting a balanced approach to the growth mindset is crucial to avoid it becoming counterproductive:

  • 认识到误用努力的危险: A misinterpretation of the growth mindset can lead to the belief that not succeeding is solely due to not trying hard enough, 这可能是有害的.
  • 将焦点转移到内在价值:
    • Encourage focusing on personal growth and self-improvement over external validation such as awards and achievements.
    • Highlight the importance of learning from experiences rather than just the outcomes.
    • Promote activities that foster self-discovery and personal satisfaction independent of external recognition.

Implementing these strategies can help children develop resilience, 保持心理健康, and cultivate a sense of self-worth that is not solely tied to achievement or external validation.

So, 今晚, 晚饭后, 后练习, 放学后(但在睡觉前), 问问孩子吃午饭的事. 问问你的孩子他们是否喜欢他们的午餐. You can schedule stressful conversations for another time. Get to know your child and remind them you will love them the same, no matter what. 



Facts and figures highlighted in this blog are sourced from Never Enough: When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic—and What We Can Do bat365 It 詹妮弗·布莱亨尼·华莱士著. 以详细了解此主题, 包括广泛的数据和见解, this book is a pivotal resource that examines the issue and suggests actionable solutions.

阿什利是革命预科学校的专业导师. 她喜欢家庭海滩日和舞蹈健身当她不沉迷于神经科学的时候.