In your urge to make your child do better, do you adopt tactics that make you seem like a pushy parent? Read on to find out.
By Arun Sharma
All parents want their children to learn and improve, stay ahead of their peers, and achieve certain goals in life. To get their children to do this, parents encourage and motivate them, and support their efforts. However, some parents tend to go overboard and end up becoming pushy. They look at their children as means to achieve their own unfulfilled ambitions. And, instead of being supportive and encouraging, such parents turn into tormentors. Let’s read on to find out if you can also be called a pushy parent.
1. You have unreasonable expectations: You set unrealistic goals for your child and want her to achieve them. In fact, not only do you want your child to be a high achiever, you also want her to do that in a manner which satisfies your ‘lofty’ standards. To make your child to fulfil your expectations, you frame strict guidelines and instructions.
2. You feel extremely upset by your child’s failure: Once you set goals for your child, you pull all stops to ensure that he achieves them. You provide him with the latest technology, enrol him in extra classes, keep his things in perfect order and so on, to ensure that he does nothing else but just work towards fulfilling your expectations. And, at times when he doesn’t succeed, you feel crushed by disappointment.
3. You blame family members for spoiling the child: When your child doesn’t do well, not only do you blame the child, but also tend to blame other members of your family, especially your spouse and grandparents, for being lenient and spoiling the child.
4. You do not spare the time to listen to your child: Most children love to communicate with their parents and feel happy in their company. However, you believe in being strict with your child, and do not have the time or the desire to listen to him calmly and address his concerns. So, your child tries to avoid your company or feels edgy when you are around.
5. You are emotionally abusive: You believe in yelling, being dominating, making threats, and indulging in name-calling. You also tend to criticise, ridicule or brush aside your child’s fears and concerns, and are reluctant to show your affection except when your child achieves the goal you have set for her. With your attitude, you instil a sense of fear and distrust in your child.
6. You make all the decisions: Instead of allowing your child to take a decision, you believe in making decisions on his behalf. You expect your child to submit to your decision and keep telling him that it is only you who knows what’s in his best interest. In short, you take complete control of his life.
7. You overschedule your child: As you want your child to be the most successful individual, you do not want her to waste even a second and cram her schedule with various skill-building activities - for example, taking music lessons, attending Abacus classes, learning horse-riding, and attending coaching classes with specialists.
8. You ignore healthy boundaries: When your child is out of home, you keep contacting him every now and then over phone. You want to keep a tab on his whereabouts, know whom he is with, what he is doing and so on. You always have a doubt that without your guidance, he may end up doing the ‘wrong’ things.
9. You make your child responsible for your happiness: You keep telling your child how much you are sacrificing to make her successful. So, she should only do things that makes your sacrifice worthwhile and makes you feel happy.
It is the responsibility of parents to ensure the right upbringing of their child, set justifiable goals, and treat him with compassion and love. Pushy parents cause their child a lot of distress and snap the bond of love that should exist between a parent and child. So, if you are a pushy parent, take a step back and think about how you can re-set your relationship with your child. For, nothing can justify parents’ overbearing attitude and driving their child to the wall.
Are you angry when your child scores 98%, because he has missed the perfect 100 by a hair’s breadth?
You don’t mind your child watching her favourite TV show during exams. She’s the one responsible for her future, isn’t it?
These two reactions represent two extremes on the behaviour scale. Want to find out where you stand? Take our quiz.
1. Your child comes to you with an unsatisfactory report card. You:
a. Put an end to all entertainment and ask him to focus only on studies.
b. Sign the report card and carry on with what you were doing.
c. Explain that poor results will put his future at stake and extend your support to help him.
2. Your child complains that her peers are teasing her. You:
a. Ask her to behave well so that friends don’t tease her.
b. Tell her not to fuss and mention such irrelevant things to you.
c. Accompany her to school and talk to authorities to sort things out.
3. It’s exam time and your child is unable to sleep. You:
a. Just tell your child to close his eyes and go off to sleep.
b. Think it’s no big deal if he sleeps late one night.
c. Address his concerns and stay by his side until he falls asleep.
4. Your child misbehaves. You:
a. Tell her in a stern voice to behave well.
b. Are cool. Don’t pay any attention to her behaviour.
c. Calmly remind your child about her boundaries and consequences.
5. What would you gift your child on his birthday?
a. Tell him that he would get his gift only if he does well in his exams that follow soon.
b. Ask someone to pick up something on your behalf.
c. Based on your prior interactions, choose something you know he wants.
6. Your child is interested in Science. You:
a. Tell her that she should focus more on Maths, which you feel is more important.
b. Feel it’s no big deal. Her preference keeps changing.
c. Buy her Science DIY kits to encourage her to explore and discover.
7. Your child has stolen a pen from her friend. You:
a. Punish your child and warn her to never repeat it.
b. Feel it’s okay. Children will outgrow it soon.
c. Tell her she was wrong and ask her to return it and apologise to her friend.
If your answers are mostly
As – You are strict in deciding what your children do. You are a dictatorial parent.
Bs – You do not involve much in what your children do. You are an indifferent parent.
Cs – You support and encourage your children in what they do. You are a supportive parent.
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