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To think I am not a pushy parent

(30 Posts)
tinypop4 Sat 20-May-17 13:26:34

Had a family get together (dhs side) and was chatting to his aunt about Dd who is 4.5. I mentioned the activities she does on a Saturday - 1 swimming lesson in the morning for 40mins, and 1 hour in the afternoon of Mandarin tuition- the latter is because we lived in China until recently and i want Dd to keep up the skills she has already learnt there. She loves both activities.
I am also starting to teach her to read as she is desperate to do so,, and as she is an older one school wise (she will be nearly 5 when she starts in Sept) she is ready for a bit of input- her idea to try reading.
Dhs aunt then spent 15 minutes lecturing me on how I shouldn't be such a pushy mum, I will damage her, she's seen so many children with mental health problems (she's a gp) that have been subject to pushy parents and can't keep up to their aspirations.
I was a bit taken aback and a bit upset as I only take her to activities she enjoys. This is normal at her age right? Of course I am aspirational for her future as she's reasonably bright and interested, and I hope she will do well but I don't think I'm being pushy by encouraging her in what she wants to do? Aibu?

DJBaggySmalls Sat 20-May-17 13:30:35

If you are letting your child lead the activities, how much she takes on, and supporting her, then no. Thats not being pushy.
You sound like you have a good attitude. Dont let other people give you self doubt smile

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Sat 20-May-17 13:32:54

Sounds reasonable to me!

The Mandarin sounds a bit over zealous without the context of taking advantage of already having lived there, but being bilingual is an asset.

Swimming is a normal activity for that age.

If she wants to read, roll with it smile

Firenight Sat 20-May-17 13:34:45

Sounds fine to me so long as your daughter is happy.

228agreenend Sat 20-May-17 13:43:47

Two activities per week is fine!

Mustang27 Sat 20-May-17 13:46:53

I think you are doing amazing. Mandarin is going to be such a useful skill in the future but any secondary language lessons at this age really set them up to be able to continue learning new languages as the get older. Swimming and language are priceless life skills I would not say that either suggest you are a pushy parent.

Keep up the good work and continue listening to your daughter as she is the only one that can tell you it's too much for her.

LauraGashley Sat 20-May-17 13:59:49

Definitely not. I would think swimming is pretty much normal at that age, and an essential life skill. I'm a total bookworm so will be over the moon when my DD wants to start learning to read - She's not 3 until the summer, so I think I have a while yet!
In the UK I think that we tend to value languages less than other countries, so on its own it might seem a bit odd to be teaching a child Mandarin, but given your background, I think it's great that you want to help her keep that going. It will be so useful for her later in life.
Like PP, as long as she's still enjoying it, you carry on!

PurplePidjin Sat 20-May-17 14:03:42

Mine's the same age and does swimming, gymnastics, music and parkrun. He's incredibly lively and active and needs a lot of entertaining

There's no pressure on him to achieve anything further than enjoyment - he's also desperate to read but I'm trying not to focus on that because school will have their set way to do things (he seems to be teaching himself though!)

tinypop4 Sat 20-May-17 14:07:54

Ah thanks everyone I don't feel like I'm setting her up for a lifetime of resentment and mental health issues now...obviously she didn't jump up and down begging to carry on Mandarin, but as she is more than conversational in it I signed her up for a class nearby to our home to trial and she loves it.
Dh aunt also pointed out that I'm mean for filling up Saturdays with more stuff as it'll be a lot on top of school. I get this but I work and also have toddler ds so can't get her to these things easily after school.

tinypop4 Sat 20-May-17 14:09:30

Purplepidgen I know exactly what you mean, I'm nervous of teaching her wrongly as I'm quite sure it's all changed since I learnt, but I'm sticking to the letters and sounding out Cvc and 2 letter words - I don't think I can do this wrong!!

GrassWillBeGreener Sat 20-May-17 14:23:32

Sounds good to me. Thinking back to what we were doing with my daughter as she started school - swimming, and violin (play myself so she was keen). Then she expressed an interest in singing so I took her along to a children's choir which she loved. Definitely wasn't too much and definitely wasn't pushy - I knew about the choir but waited till she gave me an indication that it was something she wanted to do; much like you are following your daughter's wish to read.

When my children were small I was always mildly jealous of all the families we met in the park who were able to bring their children up bilingual. Keeping her mandarin going sounds exactly the right thing to do.

Lightship Sat 20-May-17 14:30:58

I don't see any problem with that. The activities I admit to finding tiresome among my reception-age son's peer group are the ones designed to 'make sure little X makes nice friends'. Children in his class with socially-aspirant parents have all been doing tennis at the local tennis club and rugby practically since they could stagger, and the parents raise their eyebrows at DS doing football because -- I quote -- 'you don't get such a nice type'.

Gatehouse77 Sat 20-May-17 14:38:38

I think swimming is a life skill so not 'pushy'.
Continuing a second language will be a huge advantage and as long as your daughter is willing, not 'pushy'.
Teaching her to read because she has shown an interest is child-led education, not 'pushy'.

I do understand what the aunt meant and, yes, there will always be pushy parents but I was expecting a daily schedule from the reaction you got!

emmyrose2000 Sun 21-May-17 10:48:30

The activities I admit to finding tiresome among my reception-age son's peer group are the ones designed to 'make sure little X makes nice friends'. Children in his class with socially-aspirant parents have all been doing tennis at the local tennis club and rugby practically since they could stagger, and the parents raise their eyebrows at DS doing football because -- I quote -- 'you don't get such a nice type

LOL, this reminded me of an episode with my grandma. She was a lovely lady, but her sudden desire that I take up tennis to meet some "nice/right" people was pretty much out of left field for her. So in early high school I took up tennis, and was partnered with a nice girl. We got on well and I enjoyed my lessons with her. Eight years later she was in jail in murder. She didn't seem quite so "nice" after that....

OP, your schedule sound fine. Swimming is an essential skill to have, and I don't personally know anyone who hasn't at least started by that age, so I'd have been more surprised if your DC wasn't in swimming lessons now. If DD is interested in reading then that's fantastic, and definitely something to follow on with.

LuchiMangsho Sun 21-May-17 11:09:18

DS is 5. He plays the violin (Grade 1 coming up) so he really takes it seriously. He wants to start a second instrument. We do nothing but music during the week since he has school on top of that.
Weekends are for swimming and tennis.
Having said that we are in SW London where pushy parents are a dime a dozen!

thatsthewayitgoes Sun 21-May-17 11:16:33

My daughter has been learning French since she was 3 and taught herself to read aged 2. She's an exceptionally able student (now 11). She had, and still has, a great thirst for knowledge that I struggle to quench. I would have done her a great disservice if I hadn't supported her learning needs when she was younger. If a child doesn't want to learn you can't force them to, but conversely if a child is desperate to learn you would not be doing right by them to prevent this. Ignore her OP x

sticklebrix Sun 21-May-17 11:23:13

Swimming = essential life skill that keeps kids safe. In no way pushy even if the child didn't want to learn.

Mandarin = It would be such a shame for her to lose her second language. Long term though, one lesson a week probably won't be enough. If you have the money for a Mandarin speaking au pair or babysitter that might be more beneficial in the long term. And your DS could learn too. My DC were only really solid in their second language from about age 9 and needed very regular contact with the language to develop.

But no, not pushy at all IMO.

bojorojo Sun 21-May-17 11:25:30

Your Aunt is probably about my age and in our day (!) we didn't do any activities out of school until we joined Brownies or Cubs. There was no language tuition available, or anything else, but we were taught to read by our Mum. Generally if something wasn't available at school, we didn't do it. I joined the junior tennis club at 11 but it wasn't a class thing. It was just a few of us in the town who tried to play tennis!

In the context of this century you are about right in what you do! Perhaps your aunt would like to turn the clock back but it is not possible and you do have plenty of playtime during the week.

Tinseleverywhere Sun 21-May-17 11:34:48

I don't think it's pushy to do a few activities like this, it's only damaging if the children become exhausted or if the parents or teachers put a lot of pressure on them to do well at the activity.

WhooooAmI24601 Sun 21-May-17 11:42:29

Lightship DS2 does football, cricket and rugby and there's a definite snobbery among the cricket and rugby parents that football is somehow 'not for our types'. It makes me smile because you get pushy parents in all activities and walks of life and some of the rugby parents I've seen over the years (DS1 has also played since he was 4) have been absolutely hideous.

OP you're absolutely not being pushy. But if you were, what's the harm? I encourage the DCs to do lots of clubs and sports simply because I want them to have the chance to find something they love. To some people that's probably pushy but I'm ok with being labelled pushy because, if I'm honest, I want my DCs to grow up bright, well-rounded and to love sport and learning. Pushiness isn't always a bad thing. It only becomes a problem when you overrule your DC's interests and wishes.

Hotheadwheresthecoldbath Sun 21-May-17 11:45:26

Swimming is a fun,play thing where they learn too.keeping up a second language she already knows is common sense.Non of this is hot housing or pushy.

DoorwayToNorway Sun 21-May-17 12:45:38

Every Child is different. My 7 year old was never interested in reading, he's only just learned in his school language and is reluctant to learn in English. All in good time. My 4 year old is the opposite, he's already learning to read in both languages, his thirst is insatiable.

BrexitSucks Sun 21-May-17 13:13:33

I dunno. One of those threads where I suspect I'm getting full picture.

Are you & your OH high achievers, OP? One suspects so if you've lived abroad.

Also, how would you feel if your child had a decidedly mediocre academic record? "Fine" or "Of course that's never happened to anyone in my family or his family so it won't happen to my child either."

BrexitSucks Sun 21-May-17 13:18:41

*Not getting...
Distracted by deticking a cat.

Sunshineandgin Sun 21-May-17 13:32:08

2 activities a week is hardly anything!

I've been a nanny for a long time and most of the children I care for have been doing 4-5 activities a week minimum. Child I look after now is at pre-school everyday and on top of that does football, gymnastics, ballet, swimming, mandarin and Kumon maths and reading. And the mandarin, football and Kumon are all twice a week. I'm one of the few nannies at the preschool that manages to keep free play time in the schedule too. Some of the other children are doing violin and chess lessons on top of all those things!

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