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“Pushy parent”

(65 Posts)
rrbrigi Fri 11-Jan-13 11:30:22

I need to admit that I might fell under the category as ?pushy parent?. And this is not what I?d like to hear, I am more interested in how it affect, will affect my son life socially or in any other way. A bit of background: both parents went to university and the family is not English, so we speak 2 languages.

He is in reception and I think he is a very good learner (but I cannot compare because I grow up in another education system). But I have some evidence. His English is only a half year behind compare with his peers (however he learns English only in the school and no any English influence from home). He is in yellow reading level, good in math (adding up, subtracting numbers up to 20, counting at least to 100, knows his shapes 2d and 3d, etc?) and his writing is good as well (they learn cursive letters). He is a summer born child (and had a heart surgery) so physically he is a bit behind (but I think I would put this under the fact that we do everything for him at home: change his clothes, clean his teeth, help him eat, etc?). Socially I would say he is ok. He definitely not the chattiest boy, and he does not like to be in the middle, but he has some friends (3-4) mostly from the older children. But we do not mind, because we are the same type of person with his father.
He is a kind of learner that if you do something with him he remembers from the first time. He understands the logic in math. He loves books (because we influence him with books since he was born). And I would like to take advantage of these. He is only 4.5 and we learn together at least 1-1.5 hour every weekday, sometimes weekend as well. I do not need to push him very hard to do it, but of course if he could choose he would watch TV. When I say learning, I really mean learning (do math next to a board, reading, spelling and writing) ad not playing with puzzles or board game (we do these as well, but in another time).

But in the other hand I am worried a bit too. He wears glasses and sometime I think it is my fault, because I introduced the books for him too early. And I think he develop some kind of urge to try to be perfect for me. I am afraid that he does things because I ask him (most of the time) and not because he would like to do it. He always asks me if I think his job is perfect or not. I think he does not believe in himself as much as I believe in him (however he can do everything he wants, he just need to try it and most of the time he succeed).

I would be interested to know if any other parents do the same at home (probably this is typical and I should not worry at all), or if any teacher had experience with children with ?pushy parent? like me. And why I would like to know these things, simply because I would like to be the best mum for my son, even if I need to chnage my behaviour.

I am prepared to get negative answers, but I would be happier to get some kind of solution (how you are dealing with situation like this) or experience from other parents and teachers.

rrbrigi Wed 30-Jan-13 10:41:11


Not yet, because of the weather. The mother spoke to her daughter and she would like my son to go to her house, so we will go to the playdate this Friday to the girl's house.

sanam2010 Wed 30-Jan-13 10:20:10

Hi Rribrigi, how did the playdate go?

sittinginthesun Wed 16-Jan-13 14:12:33

hi Rrbrigi.

I think you sound lovely, and I'm sure the play date will go well.

Just ask the Mum what works best for her. Ours generally tend to be straight from school. If you walk, can she walk back to hers afterwards?

I think the best thing is to be relaxed about it - cup of tea/coffee for the Mum, and biscuits, snack and drink for the children when they get in (head off any post school slumpsmile ). Are you offering tea as well - sometimes children stay for tea, and sometimes it is just playing for an hour or so.

I really think you can be completely honest about this. Just tell the Mum you haven't had many play dates, and want to check what works best for her.

Bakingtins Wed 16-Jan-13 13:50:53

Hi Rrbrigi it sounds like you've made lots of progress in bringing some balance back to your son's life as a result of ideas from this thread. I'd agree with most posters that 1.5hrs is far too much. My DS1 is 6 and in yr1. He's a bright boy and I'm probably on the pushy end of the parenting scale. He could read well before he went to school. We do 10-15min of reading a night, normally his school book on 2 days a week when it's been changed and otherwise something we choose from his own books or the library, and we also read a chapter of a story to him at bedtime. He also does 10 min a day of Komodo, which is an online maths program. In yr1 he gets suggested homework for the half term linked to the topic they are studying at school and we try to do one piece each weekend, which usually takes less than half an hour. He prefers to do the maths based ones but I try to encourage him to do the art/crafty ones too. So we're doing less than half an hour a day on top of his school day, and I think that's enough. I suspect your son's anxiety about getting things right is partly because you've put such a lot of emphasis on academic achievement and he's recognised how important it is to you that he does well at school.
To increase confidence it's great for them to be trying new things - the local leisure centres often have taster sessions in school holidays where they can try a new activity. It's fine to try something like drama and decide it's not for him, it's a case of finding a group activities he likes and is good at.
You say he's a little behind physically. Can he swim? Ride a bike? Scoot?
Independence-wise I'd encourage him to do as much of his personal care as possible for himself (choose clothes, get dressed, brush teeth, put dirty clothes in laundry, put clean folded clothes away, tidy his bedroom) and also give him a few little jobs that are his responsibility - my son has to keep the toilets stocked with spare loo rolls and feed the dog. They also love to help with grown up tasks - could he help you choose what to have for dinner, write a list, go shopping for ingredients and do whatever he safely can of the preparation? They are so proud of themself when everyone thanks them for cooking!
Good luck with your playdate - hope it's the start of a friendship for your little boy and for you.

redskyatnight Wed 16-Jan-13 08:33:53

I wouldn't worry about organising too much. Suggest your son shows his friend some of his toys - they will naturally find something they want to play with together. Also other children's bedrooms are always fascinating smile

As others have said, have a couple of things up your sleeve (simple crafts, just pull out the Lego box) for if they do seem to run out of ideas.

Depending on the age of the little sister you might want to make sure there is something suitable for her to play with.

I'd offer the mum a cup of tea/coffee and a biscuit/cake. I'd suggest talking about the school and how your children are settling in. Maybe ask her where she lives and talk about the area? Or if all fails, you can mention the weather smile

Yfronts Tue 15-Jan-13 22:28:51

can you ask him what he would like to do? paint, play footy, b with friends?

3birthdaybunnies Tue 15-Jan-13 11:22:55

Hi you sound as if you are doing really well, it took me a while to get into playdates. I would ask the mother which she would prefer, bear in mind that you would need car seats though if you drive. Might be easier to walk - plus then you get to see the girl and your son play on the way.

For a first time I often bake (or you could buy) some little cakes but 'forget' to decorate them - I find that some icing sugar and a few sweet is great for the first time, I generally let them do two - one to eat straight away and one for pudding/ to take home - have a few extra in case they want one for daddy.

After that I usually let them go off and play together. At that age I would let the older ones get on and play together, while you have a few younger toys out for the sister, then you and the mother can sit down for a cup of tea/coffee.

She won't mind if you say that you sometimes find it hard to understand how things work here - don't criticise (you don't seem to on here) but feel free to question things, she could be very useful for helping you negotiate the playground politics.

I was a little surprised when dd2's best friend was a boy especially as she ignored boys as if they were a different species before school but it really isn't a problem, they are so similar, when I see them talk and play it is like looking at a couple who have been together for 50 years. Her mother is probably just pleased that he is a nice boy and they enjoy playing together.

learnandsay Tue 15-Jan-13 11:17:00

We do play dates at the weekend. There's too much to do after school.

rrbrigi Tue 15-Jan-13 10:56:14

Thanks. Your answers really help me a lot.

One more things. Usually this play dates are straight after school? Or they will go home and come later to play? I am just asking, because usually I go to pick up my son to the school by car and her mum comes on foot. Do you think should I go on foot on Monday? We live probably the same distance from the school as the mum and the girl. Or should I offer a lift for them?

learnandsay Tue 15-Jan-13 10:43:18

If you can bake then do bake a cake. That always goes down well. Don't put nuts in it. Have instant coffee, a small bag of blended tea from the supermarket like PG Tips (chose a small bag in case you don't drink it yourself.) Also choose a small bag of nice tea like Earl Grey (once again in case you don't drink it yourself.) Then you can offer a small range of teas. Have a small jar of instant coffee, something relatively nice like Nescafe. In case the mum likes coffee. Or have nicer coffee if you normally have that. But don't buy nice coffee especially. (By nice I mean filter coffee. It's not necessary unless you normally use it.) If you know how to make scones then of course make some too. Scones are normally eaten with clotted cream and raspberry jam. But it's not necessary. It's just nice. But scones and a cake is probably a bit much. (Maybe make scones next time.) Also have fresh milk and while sugar available. Most people in England don't have lemon in their tea so I wouldn't offer it.

Chat about simple things, how her daughter is getting on at school. Nice places to visit for a day out in the area, local museums, nice places to eat in the area with your children, the local park and so on. (If she wants to have a conversation about nuclear physics or the atom bomb I'm sure she'll let you know.)

Don't pay too much attention to the younger child. Of course be nice and smile and talk to her but don't touch her or pick her up.

I hope that helps.

educatingarti Tue 15-Jan-13 10:34:17

Well done for overcoming your shyness and asking about the play date!
Don't worry too much about it. Lalalonglegs gives some great advice!

Your questions are not silly!! By asking them, you have found the courage to do something you were nervous about and to help your son too! You are a lovely mum to care so much about helping your son integrate and make friends!

If your son is not used to children coming to your home to play, it might be worth explaining to him beforehand that when the little girl is there he should share his toys and let her ( and her little sister) play with the things she wants to. You could explain that they are still his toys and the little girl won't take them home with her, but just while she is at your house, he should be kind and share them. From what you have said about your son, he sounds like a caring child anyway and the two of them are obviously good at playing together at school so it shouldn't be a problem, but if it is a new experience for your son it might be worth explaining!

Well done with your new-found confidence and do let us know how the play date goes!

lalalonglegs Tue 15-Jan-13 10:20:21

I wouldn't stress about it too much. Have some of your son's favourite toys out and have a project up your sleeve if they don't seem to be playing together that well: offer to bake some fairy cakes/jam tarts with them or get some paints and paper out?

Food: I only ever give fish fingers because they are the only thing that everyone eats (I've even had children turn down pizza shock) with some peas or beans and a small treat afterwards (yogurt/biscuits or the cakes if you make them) and a bit of fruit.

Yes, of course you can touch children in the way you describe, no one would interpret it in any other way than kindness/protectiveness.

Regarding small talk with the other mother, the big topics are: how your children are settling in at school; where they went to nursery and how they got along there; whether you work/are planning to go back to work; when you moved to the area and, in your case, when you moved to the UK and your own background. I much prefer it when parents drop and run but, if she does want to come along too, then she will probably be prepared to be quite chatty.

rrbrigi Tue 15-Jan-13 10:02:44

Thanks your advice. I have a couple of more questions, that might sound "silly", but these things do not come naturally from me, because I brought up in a different culture and I would like to do all the effort I can to make sure my son does not feel isolated and he can be part of this culture.

So yesterday I asked the girl’s mum, if she can come to play with Robin. smile (I am very proud of myself. I was so nervous, frightened and shy, but I did it.) The mum told me “yes, of course”. I figured it out that her daughter spoke about Robin a lot at home and she is as shy as my son. So at the end the mum told me she needs to ask her daughter but if her daughter is ok with it, she does not mind. The mum told me they can come next Monday (her daughter, a little sister and the mother all coming to our house). I have a bit of time to be prepared! But how? I am a bit nervous again, because the mum will be there and I do not want to do any silly mistakes.

Please give me some advice. I would like to know which subject we should chat, which food and drink should I offer to them? How nice should I be with her daughter? Usually children like me, and I am very kind with them. Sometimes hold the child hand or touch his head, etc. and I do not know if it is allowed here or not.

P.S.: Looking back, it was silly to be nervous about asking a play date. Now I think lots of mothers are waiting that someone go there and ask for a play date.

And sorry for the silly questions.

Mutteroo Tue 15-Jan-13 02:32:23

OP your son is a lucky boy to have such a caring mother.

We all stress that we are not getting it right when it comes to parenting and there is no perfect way to bring a child up. my concern is this is what you are looking for and trying to achieve? I am not offering any advise because I think you need to find your own way to parent and be happy with it.

There are laid back parents who have children who rebel because they have so few rules and then there are children who rebel because they've had too many rules. You can't win. Instead you just do your best, relax and enjoy being a parent.

simpson Mon 14-Jan-13 23:12:28

Beavers take them from 5.10 I think...might be worth getting him down on a waiting list now...

Sounds like you have had a fab weekend smile

Good luck on asking for playdate, you could always ask the teacher to help (ie pass a note on)....

Crouchendmumoftwo Mon 14-Jan-13 22:34:10

Hi rrbrigi,

Wow I was so touched to see what huge steps you have taken. That is amazing. Im sorry I didnt really take on board English being your second language and came across as harsh.
Can I say it wouldnt matter if English was your second language for play dates. lots of kids at my sons school have parents and children with English as a second language and have lot of play dates. I think most parents are delighted if their children are asked for a play date. Some mums want to come and some don't it's really hard to tell until you ask.
My son had a playdate with a girl and it didnt really flow and he wanted to wrestle and run around and she really didnt fancy it and wanted to go home! I got really stressed and dressed up entertaining them, I was exhausted by the end of it and should have called her mum to collect her! Boys and girls can be very different playing but your two sound like they will be just fine, just be prepared and dont take it personally. The second play date with a boy went well and they did a lot of playing by themselve which was wonderful and very liberating for me. Wow sounds like you are doing such lovely things, classes are a bit hit and miss! Kung Fu sounds brilliant. Good luck sounds fantastic what you are doing. Well done. Best wishes.

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Mon 14-Jan-13 22:13:48

rrbrigi. It sounds like you had a lovely weekend. Did your DS notice the change in the amount of work that you both did? I'm so glad that you have decided to give him his childhood back.

It's nerve wracking, isn't it, approaching parents? I would just say that the teacher told me how nicely they play together and that DS really would like to invite her round to play. There is a high chance that the mum will say yes. I've asked several parents and only one was a bit "funny" about it. Rest all said yes, and two have become firm play dates that DS sees regularly. And parents have become friends with me, which was a nice bonus.

FeltOverlooked Mon 14-Jan-13 16:58:51

Oh yes, Beavers is a great plan. Our group is very social and a great way for families to get to know each other. They do lots of different things.

HelpOneAnother Mon 14-Jan-13 12:03:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

educatingarti Mon 14-Jan-13 11:27:17

A lot of people would be pleased for their child to learn about a different culture. It is really good for children to experience different cultures and languages. It's not negative at all.

I can understand how you might feel nervous but please try not to be! I'd just say that your son would really like her daughter to come and play after school one day. Would that be OK and is there a day that would be convenient? Say that the mum is welcome to come too if she would like to. Some mums might want to come but others will enjoy having a couple of hours without their child to get things done.
If you are offering them some tea, ask if there is anything the girl (and her mother if she is coming) don't like to eat.
You can swap phone numbers and addresses and if the girl is coming on her own, arrange that you will collect her with your son after school and what time the mum will pick her daughter up.

Alternatively if there is something like a soft play area near you, maybe you could offer to take her daughter with your son. Again extend the invitation to the mum if she would like to come too!

I think it is lovely that you are encouraging your son to be more independent in dressing himself and cleaning his teeth. It sounds as if you had a great weekend!

learnandsay Mon 14-Jan-13 11:17:31

Our daughter's best friend is Vietnamese. We have visited each other's families many times. One parent has quite good English the other doesn't. They're both hard to understand but the effort is worth it.

rrbrigi Mon 14-Jan-13 10:40:27

Thanks. I do not know her mum, I mean I have never spoken to her but I saw her when we pick up the children, so I know which one is her mum.

I am a bit nervous, because of my English. Do you think does it count? I mean who wants her daughter to play in a house where the people are not English (different culture, etc...)? Is it a negative thing? Or I should not worry about it?

The teacher told me that the girl and my son are good friends, so hope the gilr mentioned my son at home a coule of times.

learnandsay Mon 14-Jan-13 10:29:01

Of course the little girl will come to play with your son. Why wouldn't she? Yes, invite the mother too. We usually invite playdates for tea the first time because it can all be done quite quickly and easily. When we know other children and families better we tend to have lunch together and spend longer together.

The normal thing to ask the mother is "how is your daughter settling in at school? (If you're giving them tea/food) Is there anything that she can't eat?"

There is no need to ask her lots of questions in general and no need for her to ask you lots either. You can lay paper and felt tip pens out for the children to play with.

redskyatnight Mon 14-Jan-13 10:24:31

Sounds like a lovely weekend.

As regards asking the girl round to play do you know her mum/dad (or at least know who they are)? If you do, I'd go up and introduce yourself (if they don't know who you are) and then say that your DS was asking if he could have their DD round to play after school. You could add that the parent would be welcome to come round and have a cup of tea as well (some parents will want to, others won't care). Then depending on the reaction sort out a date and swap phone numbers. I don't think (if they play at school) there is any problem in a girl coming round to visit a boy. Chances are the other mum will be wanting her DD to get to know more children anyway so will be pleased at the invitation.

If you don't see the parents you can give the teacher a note to put in her bookbag.

rrbrigi Mon 14-Jan-13 09:51:41


Reading your answers and think through their meaning, on Saturday we went to visit a kung-fu class, that he enjoyed a lot. He got "jobs" to do at home (like: clean his teeth alone, dressing up alone, etc...) and if he does he can get reward in his next kung-fu class. I hope this will help me to let him do things alone. He dressed up himself this morning. smile He looks forward to going to the next kung-fu class. Also I took him to a drama class, that he did not enjoyed that much, so probably we won't go again. He also visited his cousin on Sunday. We read his books, did a bit of writing (approx half an hour a day) and played together.

I will try to give his childhood back. There is a little girl in the school, that my son likes to play and I would like to invite her to play with my son after school. Silly question but please could you write down for me how I should ask her mother? Should I invite her mother too? Or is it very unlikely that a girl will come to play with my son?


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