Comparisons in parent WeChat groups are toxic


Graphic illustration by Nicole Ge

Students feel unnecessary pressure when parents create unrealistic expectations for college admissions due to comparisons in WeChat groups.

Nicole Ge, Staffer

With college decisions in full swing, parents boasting about their child’s accomplishments have once again taken over WeChat groups created to convey class-specific information to Lynbrook parents. These conversations happen not only in groups for the senior class but also in those for underclassmen. Although these parent chat groups are good places to receive school-related news, they enable a harmful dynamic in which parents compare students’ accomplishments  which causes students to feel insecure and lacking.

The groups are active with discussion ranging from school events to recent news. Parents also share information about their own children, like what classes they are taking or what achievements they have attained. The chats can inflict feelings of inadequacy and inferiority in students if parents take their findings in a negative light and convey them to their child. 

“It seems like they expect so much out of me when they mention other classmates’ achievements and expect me to do the same,” freshman Alice Wu said.

Constantly seeing other parents showing off their child’s achievements in the chat may cause parents to believe that their child is below average in their grade. New, unrealistic expectations are made for the child as parents are unaware that they are comparing their child’s performance as a whole to glimpses of other students’ best. 

“Some parents like to brag about how many APs their child has taken and how many clubs they attend, as if it’s easy to do,” said Cindy Wang, a parent of two Lynbrook students. “It makes me worried that my children aren’t smart enough.”

As college decisions approach, conversations about college admissions occur in the WeChat group for the Class of 2022. While waiting for results to roll in, anxious parents deliberate over what classes or extracurriculars are needed to be accepted into certain colleges. 

However, these discussions are also common in chats with the parents of underclassmen. Such premature and aggressive comparisons of students give students an unhealthy amount of pressure that will only lead to poor self-esteem. 

Parents in Lynbrook WeChat groups should avoid comparing their child to other students in hopes of pushing their child to work harder, as incomplete comparisons can instead negatively impact students’ mental health.