Pushing children

How much should we push our children? 

I mean pushing them to study but you guessed that… right?

This must be a reoccurring question in the minds of parents. A question to which we do not have the answer, that’s because an actual answer probably doesn’t even exists!

With the exam period looming over our heads (well our children’s heads), I often wonder if I am doing enough to support them. I’ve always been one of those parents whose said “if they want to study, they’ll study!”and I think I believed myself when these words came out of my mouth. But now, with my kids in secondary education I’m debating whether I need to give them that extra push.

View of a Row

I remember my time in school and the whole education system seemed a lot more relaxed. Or is that just how I perceived it?  I recall not being too bothered with my GCSE’s because it was merely a starting point, as long as I got goodish grades I knew I could get onto most college courses. Again, was this because I wasn’t career focused?

But with my parent head on, my thoughts have changed. I’m telling my boys to aim high – telling them that if they want a good career, they have to start focusing now. Is this too much pressure at such a young age? Their journey has just started, they have their whole lives ahead of them to work out what they want to do with it.But if we don’t push them now, will that laid back moral stay with them throughout their life? 

It really is a dilemma, do I push them or don’t I?

Does it depend on the child, or is it one rule for all? My sons have so much potential, and I’m not saying that because I’m biased (although I probably am)! They’ve always been in top sets at school and this has come without extra support, they’ve done it for themselves. So if they’ve done so well for themselves already, should I be backing off and letting them get on with it? Or should I get them extra tutoring to push them even further???

So many questions. So many options? What’s right? What’s wrong? Forget pressure on the kids, I’m getting stressed out just writing this!

I was extremely shocked the other day (and secretly pleased) when my eldest son came to me and asked if I could get him a maths tutor! When I asked him why he felt he needed it, he replied “my friends get tutored and are doing better than me”. So this brings me onto another point – Does a child’s circle of friends motivate them to better themselves? I believe it’s a MASSIVE contributing factor! Children want to be better than their friends, they want to be looked up to by their peers. So if they’ve got high achieving friends then chances are they’ll do well themselves.

So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m not going to tell my kids they must do their homework, I’m merely going to remind them that it’s likely they have homework to do. The indirect approach – it works! Then I’m going to ask them how they got on with their termly exams, and I’ll praise them even if they achieve a grade below what I was expecting of them. I’m going to support them without pushing them but by just giving them a gentle nudge. After all, it’s their life and they must make their own choices and learn form their own mistakes.

accomplishment, ceremony, college

I don’t know if this approach will work. But I do know that kids don’t like to be constantly told what to do.

I would love to know your views on the situation. Do you think children should be pushed or left to their own devices? Like I said before there’s no correct answer for this situation, no guidelines to follow. So we make them up as we go along and hope for the best…

Thanks for reading.

Suki… (A Baffled Mum) X

25 thoughts on “Pushing children

  1. deimile says:

    Girl, I couldn’t agree and relate more with the part where you talk about the friends’ influence. Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are! After a certain age I feel like kids look up to their peers even more than parents. I think I will be a stalker parent and always make sure my kids hang out with decent people….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Baffledmum says:

      Definitely! We moved house so I could get my boys away from a certain group of kids! It’s awful to say as they were good friends but always in trouble… It’s nice to know I’m not the only mum to feel like this… X

      Liked by 1 person

  2. MissteriosoDas says:

    I am not sure if can comment on it. Still don’t have to worry such things.Pheew. But I do think you’re right to let them decide their own path. And then you will be there to help them whenever required. So it’s better children learn from their own mistakes rather than ours.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alexis Rose says:

    I think using your own best mom-intuition is the best. And depending on the kids age there may be a time to push and a time to let them make their choices. You’ll know, and each kid is so different. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s is a difficult line. Push or not. But I think if they don’t do well at the time, there will always be other opportunities available & thus could help them at a later stage deciding on their direction in life. Being pushy can bring out stubbornness and can get the opposite effect. So I think let them get on with it and just check in on them time to time. Your approach sounds like one that I would take, so you’ve got me on side.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Baffledmum says:

      Very true, children hate being nagged so do get stubborn. & as long as we are there to help when they ask for it, that’s what counts. I do believe they need to try things by themselves first… Thanx for reading & leaving some advice… X


  5. Chris.Lemos says:

    The first time I personally needed a tutor was at 13 and I had scored the lowest marks in maths. My mom attended the meeting with my teacher and calmly asked me if I was facing difficulty in the subject. I remember being relieved for not being scolded. My parents never pushed, rather gently reminded me and tested my aptitude for various fields. What definitely helped me was they never compared my progress with other kids. They rather looked for consistency in my own performance at school.
    I still have a long way to go to have kids of my own. But I definitely thought my parents approach worked for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Baffledmum says:

      Very true. I would never compare one child to another because they all have their individual strengths and weaknesses. Your parents approach sounds like a good one. Pushy never works… Thanks for reading and for the advice. X

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Anonymous says:

    My kids have all been tutored, it was very expensive but I guess it pays off in the end. I do wonder how well they would have done left to their own devices. Maybe because I was pushed so much that’s why I pushed my kids? All I can say is good luck to all parents, it’s a tough decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. thebabyandtheboardroom says:

    As an ex Teacher I totally agree with you. It is all about attitude and you can push kids all day Long but it won’t get them anywhere unless they have the right attitude and motivation to do it themselves. That’s why I have always promoted autonomous learning. With my Big Lad I’m always teetering between being obviously present to give him practical and academic support but wanting him to identify where and when he needs that support for himself. It’s good solid life skills too. They need to be able to make their own decisions and adopt the right attitude towards things of importance. Found this really interesting, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Baffledmum says:

      Sounds like good advise, thank you. I do agree they need to make their own choices and learn from their mistakes. Sometimes it’s just hard to not butt in! That’s just being a parent I suppose… X


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