I insist on piano, but tennis was totally her idea.
I am not a pushy mom. But I would like to be.
I read a blog. It talked about pushy moms. What are they? Are we one of them?
According to my impromptu research, it looks like people don’t want to be pushy and that “pushy” is: (my paraphrasing)
insisting kids excel in given activities
forcing kids to participate in activities they don’t want
putting a kid in too many activities
getting vicarious self-esteem through children’s achievements
I, not surprisingly, don’t think I’m a pushy parent. But, unlike those pushy moms who just don’t see themselves as they really are, I’m actually right about myself in this. I have to push myself to push my kids. My parents were pretty laid back. As a child, I rode the bus to and from school, had a few chores and no extra-curricular life. As I got older, I could pretty much do what I wanted as long as my chores were done, my grades were adequate and my activities didn’t require my being driven hither and yon.
A year or so back I read “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior”. The point I remember most is that some things are not fun until you know how to do them. I have a cantankerous non-pianist-type dd14 who has not been let off the hook because of this article.
Miss dd14 vows never to make her kids do anything they don’t like. We’ll see how that goes in twenty years (ha). Although it is entirely possible that she might decide against piano lessons, I think she has a few things to learn regarding just how many things a child is capable of disliking, i. e. pretty much everything, especially if they know you want them to do it.
In all fairness, not all kids have that if-you-like-it-I-don’t attitude. But even the most cooperative child, sometimes falls into the if-you-like-it-it’s-dorky trap. But I digress.
No doubt you can try to push your children too hard. And you can push them for the wrong reasons, which are any reasons that relate more to you than to the child. BUT we are the adults. This enables us to understand long term benefits in a way that children and youth are incapable of. Come on, I mean these are people who didn’t foresee the potential for catastrophe when they started jumping over a chair on their bed. Even after all that time spent singing about those naughty monkeys. They obviously require guidance on life-altering decisions.
With that said, I believe it is important that we know our children, their strengths and weaknesses, hopes and goals. We need to be sure we have our children’s best interests at heart. This requires a periodic review. It also requires a periodic push. And, in my case, a constant reminder to myself of what it is we’re working for so that I don’t let my kids’ potential fall by the wayside in my quest to be agreeable or freed from the schlepping duties my own parents so carefully avoided.