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To think that there is a worrying rise of The Pushy Parent?

(351 Posts)
ShutTheDough Tue 13-Aug-19 04:38:29

I visited my friend last week who has moved to Cambridge and happened to meet some of her friends. My friend is very down to earth and I would say has a very relaxed style of parenting. I was quite surprised about how much they invested in their children. Not saying that's a bad thing obviously but it all seemed like alot of pressure on the children. One of them already had the careers set out for their DC.
It just seemed all a bit intense tbh.

BogglesGoggles Tue 13-Aug-19 04:42:22

It’s normal to spend time and money on children if that’s what you mean? Deciding what your child further career will be is s not weird though, unless you are grooming them to take over the family business l suppose.

Brot64 Tue 13-Aug-19 05:06:12

I have a parent friend who moved from London to Cambridge and she has commented on numerous occasions about how pushy parents that she has met are, (although she thinks London is worse). She is surrounded by academics due to her profession so that might be the reason why. We live in London and my area is "brutal" with pushy parents. We literally only meet other "parent friends" at extra-curriculum activities that take place from Monday to Sunday. I personally do not have my DC's professions picked out. I think that should be left albeit with some guidance to the child once they are old enough. However, I have particular secondary schools that I am considering and targeting the ones that are feeders to Ivy League universities in the US (ExH, DP & I all went to US IL Uni's so do not see why DC shouldn't go). As a result we pick extra-curriculum activities that the DC now enjoy (they have been doing them for years now but before this we made the choices and at the start they didn't always enjoy them) but that would also look good when they take the 11 plus entrance exams (for the two younger ones) and post IB for the older. It costs a fortune but the strategy seems to work thus far. My view is that if I am able to, I will invest as much time and funds towards DC to offer them opportunities to learn new skills etc. Whether they will use those skills and opportunities will be an issue for them once they are adults.

GirlRaisedInTheSouth Tue 13-Aug-19 05:14:28

@Brot64 Can you tell me what extra-curricula activities your DC do? I’m just curious as to what might help when targeting IL universities. Thanks.

Jemima232 Tue 13-Aug-19 05:24:10

@ShutTheDough

I don't think the responses you've had thus far are what you were looking for.

Although neither of your respondents can spell "extra-curricular".

edgeofheaven Tue 13-Aug-19 05:30:32

What else should a parent invest in? I prioritise my DC's education which includes activities like sport, music, etc. because I want them to have opportunities and be challenged. The world is competitive, that's just a fact.

If the child is unhappy or being unduly pressured that's a problem but otherwise I cannot see an issue with this.

Choosing career sounds silly but I wonder if that's what was actually said, or if someone said "We've put James in a school strong in science because we want him to study medicine" which is quite a bit different.

GirlRaisedInTheSouth Tue 13-Aug-19 05:33:06

@Jemima232 😂 I raised my eyebrows at the previous poster’s misspelling and then spelt it wrong myself 😳.

onioncrumble Tue 13-Aug-19 05:34:20

I think it's because parenting is seen as inferior. All these career women are frustrated, bored and realizing the 7tter tedium of children (who are not always as super clever at 2 as people would like, most toddlers are willful and silly) so try to control it. I find these women insufferable and think they should get a nanny and go back to their high profile job in the city.

Mileysmiley Tue 13-Aug-19 05:35:33

It has got worse since my children were small. My two used to do swimming (necessary imo) keyboard lessons, karate, ballroom dancing. My son stopped keyboard after getting to level 9 and then did electric guitar. My daughter lost interest in ballroom dancing after I spent a small fortune on shoes and costumes. I asked her if she remembered any of her dancing steps and she said no ... she even said I don't know why I did. It will be interesting to see what stuff she signs her little son up for.

FuriousVexation Tue 13-Aug-19 05:37:18

Well how old were the kids?

GirlRaisedInTheSouth Tue 13-Aug-19 05:39:13

There are a few pushy parents at our school. Particularly the families from the US. All their DC are doing phenomenally well at school and play a range of sports and musical instruments. I wouldn’t say any of them are naturally bright, it’s just that the entire family set up is geared towards the DC and their success at school.

Mileysmiley Tue 13-Aug-19 05:42:50

I find Asian parents push their children educationally. This is not a bad thing because you want your children to have a good careers. Mine both have good careers and I feel like they can look after themselves without any input from me. Well except my son who won't leave home ... he is too comfortable here methinks.

Brot64 Tue 13-Aug-19 05:43:09

@GirlRaisedInTheSouth Yes sure. They all have language classes (French & Mandarin). They also have French at school twice a week, although it is basic. Mine also speak fluent German & Dutch. I am from Germany but my mother is Dutch. Americans are impressed by languages simply because people rarely speak anything else aside from English and Spanish. They all swim competitively (training 4 times a week. Coding, Tennis for the younger two twice a week. Older one is in a rowing club that the younger ones will join once they meet the height requirements. They all play instruments (piano for all, cello, harp and clarinet spread across them) minimum grade 4 for the youngest, older one is at grade 8 for piano. The schools they attend offer extra lesson during school time at a termly extra cost for instrument lessons, but we have teachers that come to our home to teach them too as 30 minutes a week is not enough practice to be proficient at playing an instrument. After school (between 3.30-4.30 Monday's -Thursday's) they attend various clubs offered by the school (drama, football, art, debating, improvisation, hockey, cricket and netball). These are rotated or dropped termly dependant on interest and are solely done for fun and building confidence particularly with the younger ones. One of my younger once is interested in science so she attends a science club on Sunday mornings. We don't do academic tuitions though for various reasons. Our week is over-loaded and weekends are spent dashing from one club to another but all their friends do the same so we are used to it and so far they are not complaining. TBH grades alone are not sufficient to gain entrance to certain schools and universities. The competition is so stiff, you have to offer something else aside from great grades.

Jemima232 Tue 13-Aug-19 05:43:51

I find these women insufferable and think they should get a nanny and go back to their high profile job in the city

I used to be a nanny for one of these types of woman and she did go back to her high-profile job in the city.

Her children were pushed and pushed - simply to ensure that they made plenty of money when they grew up. Their mother even told them this. It was bizarre.

The kids all played instruments and had singing lessons. They did sports and had tennis lessons. And millions of other things.

They were exhausted and resentful. I often wonder what happened to them as I went back to midwifery and abandoned my nannydom.

Jemima232 Tue 13-Aug-19 05:46:19

Oh, and I had four children myself and they were definitely not pushed.

I do think that the love of money drives a lot of parents into this kind of parenting. It does not seem healthy to me.

Chitarra Tue 13-Aug-19 05:46:25

Some parents are too pushy, but if you have to err one side or the other, i think it’s usually better to be a bit pushy than to be uninterested in your kids like some parents are.

Brot64 Tue 13-Aug-19 05:46:54

@Jemima232 🤣🤣. Sorry. Autocorrect and being up all night. Spotted numerous typos but I am sure OP figured out what I meant.

Mileysmiley Tue 13-Aug-19 05:47:00

Oh I forgot one speaks french and the other german but my husband and I both speak french and a little spanish because of holidays abroad.

TequilaMockingbird0 Tue 13-Aug-19 05:54:49

I think it's because parenting is seen as inferior. All these career women are frustrated, bored and realizing the 7tter tedium of children (who are not always as super clever at 2 as people would like, most toddlers are willful and silly) so try to control it. I find these women insufferable and think they should get a nanny and go back to their high profile job in the city.

'All these career women'? Would you say 'career men'? What sexist crap. What about the fathers attitude to parenting, why is that not questioned in your post?
I work in the city, as does my husband. Does this mean I'm automatically a 'career woman' who thinks parenting is inferior?

Jemima232 Tue 13-Aug-19 05:55:34

I do not think that there is a rise in levels of the Pushy Parent, OP.

They were always there, and ever more shall be so - as this thread demonstrates so aptly.

Brot64 Tue 13-Aug-19 05:59:13

@onioncrumble we have a nanny and both DP & I work in what you would probably term as high-profile professions. Very little to do with boredom, in fact I have been up all night working and I enjoy what I do. Additionally, I do not put my DC's in clubs because I think they are super humans or super intelligent. Far from it, I let them attend these clubs (which they now mostly choose themselves) because I want them to experience new things, meet new people, make friends, explore their abilities, with the added benefit of allowing them to have more than just grades to show when they attend further school interviews. I also prefer them attending clubs than them spending time on screens.

mumto2teenagers Tue 13-Aug-19 06:01:02

I think there needs to be a balance. When my dd's were younger they did various activities, but we did cut back on them as we found evenings and weekends were taken over by all of their activities. We found we didn't have enough time to spend time as a family.

Both dd's had swimming lessons which is the only activity we insisted on. Once DD2 could swim she gave up the lessons, DD1 transitioned from lessons to a club, she entered a couple of galas and I was surprised at how pushy some of the parents were.

FuriousVexation Tue 13-Aug-19 06:06:04

Americans are impressed by languages simply because people rarely speak anything else aside from English and Spanish. They all swim competitively

Bloody Amrericans, swimming for everything competitively

JemimaPuddlePeacock Tue 13-Aug-19 06:09:07

Some parents are too pushy, but if you have to err one side or the other, i think it’s usually better to be a bit pushy than to be uninterested in your kids like some parents are.

I agree with this. I don’t think it’s a bad thing when parents take an active role in encouraging their children to excel academically and take part in activities and hobbies outside of school. It becomes an issue of course if the child has no space for downtime or is expressing they’re tired and hate something and they’re being listened to.

I find the different schools of parenting fascinating as a newcomer (pregnant with my first so no experience in this area as a parent, though as a child I was encouraged by my parents to read a lot and play a few instruments and the latter opened the door to making a successful career in my twenties after a disastrous time at school and college due to an awful home life). We’ve already been discussing what sort of things we’d like to encourage the baby to do when they’re older, I’d love for them to learn an instrument or two if they show any interest or aptitude (hopefully it’ll help that they’ll see me playing at home), OH is keen to get them into coding as he feels it’ll be an integral skill set to many future careers. I think it’s more about having the mentality of seeing where your child’s interests and passions lie and then doing what you can to facilitate them in going further whether that’s in sport, art, music, academics. Rather than just ‘oh you really love drawing and you’re pretty good at it? That’s nice’.

I’m sure it’ll all go out of the window when we actually parent but I am enjoying reading around child development and intelligence and I guess at least we are starting off with the right intentions 😂

JemimaPuddlePeacock Tue 13-Aug-19 06:09:53

FuriousVexation you made me really laugh then 😂

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