Hot housing your child

(98 Posts)
Kenlee Sun 13-Oct-13 05:52:05

Although, I disagree with it. I really want at the end of the day is it worth it ?

I don't really care if your at an Indie or public. I would love to hear success stories..

I have seen to many burnout so my views are bias...

Bonsoir Sun 13-Oct-13 07:15:48

The cases I have seen where DC burn out are the ones where parents expect their DC to overachieve in a wide range of activities (not just school, but music, languages, performance etc) and are never themselves there because they are out overachieving at work.

richmal Sun 13-Oct-13 09:43:54

It depends on the definition of hot housing. I've never quite been sure what it means. There's lots of time in the day and, provided there is a balance of other activities, you don't have to spend much of it teaching for a child to progress quite quickly compared to just going to school. Is this hot housing? Or do you mean those who never do anything but learn?

Kenlee Sun 13-Oct-13 09:50:09

I mean only learning no fun...

If they play an instrument they are taught to be better than anyone...

If they compete in a sport they are expected to win and train obsessively to that aim.

Obviously also being tutored in tje academics too..

78bunion Sun 13-Oct-13 10:42:31

It sometimes comes from the child - some vie to do the least and could not care less about coming last and low marks. Others have a personality which means they always have to be the best.

I think we have had a balanced attitude to this. Supervise some music practice most days, make sure homework is done, a few hobbies in school, very few or none out of school and then example example example. If your parents love debating, reading and have interesting hobbies, work hard and love it and mothers do well and earn a lot children tend to do so too. This is a lot better than hot housing.

lljkk Sun 13-Oct-13 10:52:32
nicename Sun 13-Oct-13 10:57:41

Is it just competativeness though? DH is competative - I'm sure he wasn't brought up like that. So if he played violin, hed have to get to top grade. If he swam, not getting into the school A team would mean that he was rubbish.

I'm the opposite - the least competative person you'd ever meet!

I'm not really sure what hothousing is either. Is it being pushy?

78bunion Sun 13-Oct-13 12:01:00

Sometimes hot housing is used by lazy parents who never even read to their children to describe what is normal parenting for others just to deride those who put effort into children. Sometimes it's used to describe parents who push so much they damage the children. I don't think it has a standard definition.

If you did not make most children they would never even go to school each day never mind do homework so most parent do find a bit of a push is needed just to get children out of bed each day.

Kenlee Sun 13-Oct-13 13:11:15

Im really looking for a real life success story from hot housing. My daughter was Tiger trained from the age of 3 until eentering boarding school. We did it to keep up with her peers. To be honest it was a lot of arguments and unhappy nights. Although she can play the piano swim very well...dance ballet and get top marks in all her exams. What I saw was a shell. she didnt have a spark that children should have.

Now that she is at boarding the spark in her eyes seem to have returned. She seems to do well without the push and is quite happy to be competitive but on her own terms .

The thing is my friends son .....was hot housed and dropped out of Uni because he said it just got to much. He stays at home now just playing on his PS..He does not engage in any conversation.

It was actually him that made me send my daughter to boarding away from the pressures of HK.

FormaLurka Sun 13-Oct-13 14:33:13

Your solution was to send your child 3,000 miles away, to live with strangers? And you are complaining about other people's parenting? The old saying about the kettle and the pot springs to mind.

creativevoid Sun 13-Oct-13 14:37:37

FormaLurka I think that is a bit unfair unless you understand the reality of the Chinese education system and how much time these kids spend in school.

Kenlee Sun 13-Oct-13 16:57:05

Actually It is 7,000....and yes I did..it was decision we made together.

She is happy...and your issue is?

whendidyoulast Sun 13-Oct-13 17:12:41

Agree with Forma, it's a bit odd to criticize other people's controversial parenting choices when you have made one yourself.

Bonsoir Sun 13-Oct-13 17:57:19

Kenlee - I do know parents who "hothouse" (in my opinion, and I am not a particularly slack parent myself smile) - DC do ballet, violin (at conservatoire), four languages (three European plus Mandarin), competitive hockey/swimming/gymnastics... all at primary school. Some DC thrive on it, others less so. I think the real key is knowing when to stop and it sounds to me as if you realised that your daughter needed something less demanding than the society around her/you expected, in order to be happy. Sounds like a good decision.

I think you were right to look at it together and make a decision together, the private school where my Dp works have a lot of children from china and Japan and they have their own competition within the school, they will still be pushed by each other to achieve but probably not under the same pressure as at home.

They also seem to have a whale of a time at boarding school, they don't all look like hogwarts btw

antimatter Sun 13-Oct-13 18:41:03

I am curious what do you want.
You said you withdrew your daughter from competitive environment.
Do you want to take her back there or not.

CanucksoontobeinLondon Sun 13-Oct-13 21:01:11

I was hot-housed and I was miserable. I was the longed-for only child born after many years of marriage, and there was nobody to divide the pressure with. Not saying all parents of onlies are like that or all parents who deal with infertility are like that, by any means. Just that my parents used to justify their sky-high expectations by pointing out that they'd tried for so long for a child, and I was the only one they had. It make me very resentful.

Where was I? I was pushed from an early age to not only exceed academically, but to be the best in ballet, in piano, etc. etc. Anything less than the best was not good enough. I skipped a year in school even though I was late born for my year, so I was always far the youngest. It left me feeling like a perpetual disappointment. I had a nervous breakdown at 16 and dropped out of my selective private school. I eventually went back to a public school (what you would call a state school in the UK) and completed my education. Took another gap year after that before going to university (a good university, but not Ivy League. When I was in school, it was always expected that I wouldn't go to some inferior Canadian university but to an Ivy).

My relationship with my parents eventually recovered, but I still found myself very resentful at times. I've been in and out of therapy since I was 16. My nervous breakdown scared the hell out of them, and they actually lightened up, but it always felt like too little too late. To this day I can't watch ballet without getting tense, because I was never very good at it when i did it as a kid.

I've tried not to hot-house my own kids, but I'm not sure how successful I've been.

Kenlee Sun 13-Oct-13 22:48:27

I think Amy Chua also admitted it didnt work...when her youngest couldnt deal with it....

Btw I sent my daughter to a private because she enjoys it. She has responded well to the you can do it attitude. Instead of the thats not good enough that is synonymous with hot housing.

I dont want this to be a post on private indie versus public sector...nor boarding versus day. I just want to genuinely hear success stories from hot housing.

canucksoontobeinLondon I am so sorry for your past but hope you have a bright future. I know that it is normal to rebel in the teens. Although it is good to play the piano....once in a while ....

Alexandrite Sun 13-Oct-13 23:27:58

I think that's very sad that the pressure you applied to her from the age of 3 left her a shell and that she was happier once sent away to school.

CanucksoontobeinLondon Sun 13-Oct-13 23:37:00

Thanks, Kenlee. It wasn't all miserable, although parts of it definitely were. I went on to have fairly good relationships with my parents in adulthood, believe it or not.

I was thinking about your request for success stories, and one of my best friends would count as one, I think. She's very gifted, and her parents put a lot of pressure on her to excel as a kid. She ended up having the oh-so-tough choice when she was finishing high school of choosing between a world-renowned music school and a world-renowned academic university. She picked the academic side, decided she wasn't passionate enough about music, and she's now a STEM professor at a really good university. I think it all depends on the DC's individual personality whether they'll thrive on parental and school pressure or find it too much.

Mumzy Sun 13-Oct-13 23:45:23

I think it's hot housing when you are forcing a child to perform beyond their natural developmental pace. A few children will come through the process needed to achieve this relatively unscathed but most will have some long lasting psychological issues. I always think its sad when extracurricular activities such as music and sport become all about grades and competition rather than enjoyment. There is a very fine line between supporting your dcs education and pushing them too hard.

Mumzy Sun 13-Oct-13 23:52:30
IHaveA Sun 13-Oct-13 23:59:38

Meh! Some of my DCs are natural mathematicians and chess players

We didn't hot house in the slightest, in fact they never had ANY extra tuition in anything and I didn't do much other than normal Mum stuff. They didn't play instruments and apart from doing averagely at various extra curricular sports they didn't do many things other than normal school. We further hindered their education by moving to countries where we sent them to 'local' private schools where they had to learn pointless 2nd and 3 rd languages (pointless because they only did them for a few years)

Guess what! Our relaxed approach didn't make our children stupid. They stayed brainy and are now doing exactly what they want to do at great UK universities. Which is, sort of, the whole point isn't it? grin

We saved them hours and hours of 'extra' work and we saved ourselves loads of hassle and loads of money too. The main thing we saved was our children's childhood and happiness.
I sometimes wonder what would have happened if we had hot housed them. They would obviously been 'cleverer' but the end result would have been the same. They are proud of themselves as they believe that they have got where they are through their own hard work rather than because their parents pushed them.

One of my DCs got to know the under 19 reigning chess champion of a big chess playing country who practically had a mental breakdown and hated chess. His patents were proud of him though - for what it's worth. hmm

IHaveA Mon 14-Oct-13 00:08:55

Oops sorry for typos,

And to clarify the 19 year old chess champ is about 25 now blush I don't know what he does now. I think I will google him.

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