Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Raising Superkids? Parents Show Stress

Poll Shows Many Parents Are Anxious About Their Children's Academic Success

WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Aug. 10, 2006 (New York City) -- Today's parents are stressed out about their children's academic success and believe starting early is the key to achievement, according to a new poll.

In fact, 54% of parents of children aged 2 to 5 said they had anxiety about their child's academic performance and 38% felt that their child was in competition with other kids. The new findings come from a telephone poll of about 1,000 parents of children aged 2 to 11 conducted in July 2006 by the National Parent and Teachers Association (PTA) in New York City, and the Public Broadcast Service (PBS) Parents.

More than 90% of all parents polled said that they believe that starting early to prepare their children for academic success is key. When the findings were broken down by income status, low-income families had significantly greater concerns about education and were three times more likely to think that they are not as able to help their child prepare for school as their richer counterparts.

Making Priorities

"Parents need to be very careful about how they pick their priorities in attempting to raise successful kids," warns Michael J. Bradley, PhD, a clinical psychologist from Feasterville, Pa., and the author of several books including Yes,Your Teen is Crazy! Loving Your Kid without Losing Your Mind. "Our goal is not to raise an Ivy League student, our goal is to raise the future parents of our grandchildren."

Close to 80% of all parents polled said that they think parents today do overschedule their children with extracurricular activities, but only one in eight think their own child is overscheduled. What's more, two of three parents are satisfied with their child's schedule.

"You have to decide what success means for your child," Bradley tells WebMD. "For your neighbors' kids, maybe it is six activities a day," he tells WebMD. "Sometimes you have to get your blinders on."

Structured vs. Unstructured Activities

Many parents often feel that structured activities -- whether swimming or ballet -- are the key to success, but the science says otherwise, he says. The learning that comes from unstructured activities may exceed the type of learning that children get from structured activities.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd