Pushy Parenting? Encouraging Your Child In A Positive Way!

We’ve all watched some shows on TV which feature a talented child with a pushy parent. Sometimes the kid isn’t that talented at all. Or they are, but they’re not actually into what they’re doing. And this fact is either lost on the parent, or they hand-wave it away by saying that the kid will get there. The excuses are rhymed off as though by rote.”He’ll make so many friends playing the violin”

“She’ll have her choice of colleges if she sticks to tennis”

“I did pageants when I was their age and I loved it. They’ll get to that point.”

In truth, some kids with pushy parents go on to become stars in that chosen field. A lot more do not, and the resentment that this can feed goes both ways. The parent, angry that they have poured resources into this golden ticket to the stars. The offspring, distraught that the childhood years they could have spent with friends were wasted. The fact is that if you want your kid to be a success, it’s better that they grow up well-adjusted. Forcing interests on them will only make them stressed.

Now, if your child shows an interest or a talent, there are ways to encourage it and to see that they have a chance to succeed. You do have to make sure you don’t become one of “those” parents, but you can be supportive.

Encouraging A Child’s Interest Sensibly.

We all remember the things we were obsessed by as kids. Maybe we loved music and whiled away hours singing and dancing. Maybe we were sporty and when we weren’t kicking or hitting a ball (for example), we were watching our idols doing likewise. More unlikely, but also possible, is that we loved politics and read the newspaper from cover to cover. Although you may not want to encourage anyone to take up a career in politics.

But when your kid shows an interest in something, give them the chance to make it a focus. Even if they’re not going to one day bring home gold medals, the interest could inform a later career in broadcasting. If they’re always doing handstands and idolise great gymnasts, make it a part of their everyday life.

You can do this by buying them posters and going to events with them. You can also make a display for their wall – pictures cut out of magazines juxtaposed with those of your child playing. A few sheets of card, some glue and some ribbons or tin foil can make the whole thing stand out. Sit with your kids and help them make what they want. A couple of cordless glue guns from Glue Guns Direct – and some instructions on their safe use! – can make a fun evening with your kid.

Teach Them The Importance Of Perspective

All of us grew up admiring or even idolising stars of one kind or another. We learned words to their songs by heart. We could name the trophies they won, we could tell you their date and place of birth. And in many cases we wanted to be them. But as we all know, watching them and wanting to be like them is one thing. The reason that they were on TV is because they were one in a million.

Your child may or may not be successful in the field they are enthralled by. It is only the few that manage to be. But if they are going to have disappointments – and even the best fall sometimes – you need to give them the message that that’s OK. Whether they win or lose, whether they have a career in the field or not, dignity and grace are important.

Leonardo di Caprio was in countless films before he won an Oscar. Ryan Giggs never played in a World Cup. JK Rowling could have papered her living room in the rejection letters she got before a publisher picked up on Harry Potter. There will be disappointments. There will be occasional tantrums, in all likelihood. But each disappointment carries a chance to learn, as does each victory.

The first role model your kid really has isn’t the singer, the footballer or the Prime Minister. The first role model they have is you. You’re the one who will teach them that it’s OK to fail, it’s important to try again and that success is never guaranteed nor owed to them. Give them the chance to dream big, and don’t be an anchor to that. Be a safety net. Because whatever they grow up to be, you can still be proud.

***This is a General post***

19 thoughts on “Pushy Parenting? Encouraging Your Child In A Positive Way!

  1. Getting that balance right between encouragement and being pushing is very hard to get right 100% of the time. Even more so that isn’t not until the child is pushed into something that they discover they have a natural joy for the sport or event in question.

  2. I try hard to make sure I get the balance right. I want to encourage my son to do things he loves rather than force him into something he doesn’t want to do.

  3. I think it is hard to know what to do best. We got all ours into sport and thankful my 2 eldest lads have gone to a really good sports Uni and are into healthy eating. They have also picked great topic to study, all by there own choices 🙂

  4. Balancing this is a very hard thing to do,
    Some people go overboard & many seem to go under.

    I will let my son do as he wishes, as long as its legal. I won’t force him either way.

  5. So difficult! If your child is interested in a hobby of course you want to support them but the line between support and pushy can be difficult to recognise in yourself.

  6. We see pushy parents in my daughter’ school, actually they are everywhere. It’s a bit difficult to tell whether one is being pushy or not. Our daughter is into ballet and gymnastics and she loves both. What’s important to us is that she’s happy and enjoying it. There’s no point in pushing a child, especially if they’re not into it. Too much stress! 😉

  7. I have always been a fairly laid back kind of parent, my teen tried so many different hobbies when she was younger but I let her pick and choose for herself. Sometimes finding the balance is hard though x

  8. I think it is about getting the balance right. My son adores swimming but is reluctant to do swimming trials for the local team so we are encouraging him rather than pushing him

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