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What's wrong with being a competitive/pushy parent?

(149 Posts)
xxwowxx Sun 09-Mar-14 12:06:13

Why do most people hate competitive/pushy parent? Some even describe them as "bad parents", I mean, would it be better if they didn't care about their child/children?

JodieGarberJacob Sun 09-Mar-14 12:08:31

Because it usually means other children suffer in their wake.

EdithWeston Sun 09-Mar-14 12:09:09

Because the terms "pushy" and "competitive" have connotations beyond less loaded terms such as "supportive" or even "ambitious".

EdgeOfNowhere Sun 09-Mar-14 12:09:27

School hate pushy parents because the parents have higher expectations of their DC than school does.

Other parents hate competitive parents because they're always implying their DC is better than yours. Which no one ever wants to hear.

Bluestocking Sun 09-Mar-14 12:13:25

Because "competitive" means they measure their children's achievement against other children's, not against any kind of personal best. And inevitably, this leads to a sense that they are happy when other children do worse, or even fail.
Because "pushy" means they ensure that their children get more than their fair share of whatever's available, to the detriment of other children who might need their full share, not whatever scraps are leftover.

Ubik1 Sun 09-Mar-14 12:14:42

Because it's all about you

not the child

MrsSteptoe Sun 09-Mar-14 12:14:49

Also, it's not an either/or. Not being pushy doesn't necessarily mean you don't care. Also, pushy parent at one school is very laid back at another.

With a seriously pushy parent, I agree with JodieGarberJacob. No sense of community.

motherinferior Sun 09-Mar-14 12:15:57

Because they're boring.

lottiegarbanzo Sun 09-Mar-14 12:20:50

Competing against others, pushing others out of their way.

If they were only competing against themselves and their own expectations and pushing their child forward, they'd be called 'ambitious, striving, focused, determined, supportive'.

KinderBoris Sun 09-Mar-14 12:21:15

Because sometimes the parent's ambition comes before the child's happiness and wellbeing. My father was a professional rugby player in his youth and had big plans for my brother who is a gentle giant type and has no interest in sports at all. They aren't close at all as a result of my father being so pushy with him when he was younger and my brother feeling like a disappointment.

lottiegarbanzo Sun 09-Mar-14 12:26:54

That too, it's a competitive parent, not necessarily a competitive child. Often parental displacement.

BitOutOfPractice Sun 09-Mar-14 12:28:05

Because, in many cases, they only serve to make their children unhappy

paddythepooch Sun 09-Mar-14 12:40:08

Real life examples of what an esp pushy parent has done to my DD/other children:

Gone through her bag to check reading levels, homework etc
Asking her leading questions re levels
Pushing her out of the way when my dd had been chosen to talk to an author. Teacher had to intervene
Regularly monopolising teacher at start of every day
Recently discovered appalling remarks re other children

Disgusting behaviour, all about her and what an example to set!

TheArticFunky Sun 09-Mar-14 12:45:57

Sometimes pushy parents want their child to succeed at all costs. They push towards Grammar schools when it may not be in their child's best interests. They push them towards a particular career path when the child has interests in different areas. They insist on them playing musical instruments and taking part in activities that the child hates. Not all pushy parents are like this but I come across a few.

WooWooOwl Sun 09-Mar-14 12:48:27

I think that mostly those are labels that are put on parents by other parents who can't or don't do as much as they think they should for their children's education.

Being too pushy can have a negative effect on children, and can be a massive pain in the arse for schools, but most parents that are pushy are doing it with the best of intentions, it's just that they are misguided.

WhoAteAllTheCremeEggs Sun 09-Mar-14 12:56:07

I second that motherinferior they are very boring people.

Its like they are proving something about themselves and their magnificent parenting through their children.

BudsBeginingSpringinSight Sun 09-Mar-14 13:59:55

I think if we had more pushy parents, then we would not have these issues with hideous horrendous schools that we now have.

Parents should be encouraged to get into schools and demand more, ask questions, why isn't this working, why is this bad..if its the child, no problems, how do we get extra support.

I think lots of parents for fear of being label pushy just stand meekly on the side lines.

You see it on here all the time, ask a simple question about grammer schools and you get the posters who come on just to be mean! Mention the word tutor and it becomes hot housing, your poor child is drowning under work and obligations and so on...even though often its a mere, 40 mins of tutoring per week!

Ask a question about reading or anything and its the same.

Its a good thing to try and drive standards up and raise the bar for everyone.

BudsBeginingSpringinSight Sun 09-Mar-14 14:02:17

Often the biggest and most sarcastic critics on here are often teachers themselves, which is odd.

spanieleyes Sun 09-Mar-14 14:04:44

But competitive parents don't want the bar raised for everyone, just for their own child! By all means be challenging, be supportive, be demanding, but don't push and shove other children out of the way to get what you want for YOUR child, regardless of the impact on others.

BudsBeginingSpringinSight Sun 09-Mar-14 14:06:35

No spaniel your talking about your own version of the competitive parent.

I am talking about parents who do want the bar raised for everyone.

Rather than dumbing down.

wheretoyougonow Sun 09-Mar-14 14:11:04

I agree with its for the interest of the parent not the child. Our class pushy parent started on at the teacher on day 1 of this year group re her sons reading levels and how he needs to be pushed. Nevermind the fact he was in tears as he found it hard to settle in the new class hmm

spanieleyes Sun 09-Mar-14 14:16:51

From this thread, clearly not just my definition of competitive and pushy! There is a difference between being assertive and being pushy, of wanting the best for your child and being competitve with other children/parents.

WooWooOwl Sun 09-Mar-14 14:18:19

Given a choice between more pushy parents and more disengaged parents that do nothing to support their children's education, I'd think that most schools would rather see more pushy ones, despite the annoyance they can cause.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 09-Mar-14 14:19:49

Because they are pushy, annoy the teachers no end and its usually all about them and not the child. It has nothing to do with raising the bar for all.

MoreBeta Sun 09-Mar-14 14:24:00

When DSs left their previous Prep school one particularly pushy parent cornered us and demanded to know which tutor we had used to get them into the next school as DS1 had a scholarship. We hadn't used any tutor. He is just a bright boy and the school he went to isn't especially selective.

What she wanted to do though was get ahead of any other parent to book the gap in the tutors timetable immediately to prevent another parent getting it.

I believe this is common place behaviour in London where 'top Tutors' names are passed round in a confidential network of mothers 'in the know'.


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