When Push Comes to Shove

Knowledge Is Power, Compassion is King


Who is the voice for all the kids out there whose parents are pushing them way too hard in sports or academics? Very often we see parents forcing on to their kids what the parent value or perhaps dreams they were unable to achieve. Often without ever asking the child if that is something they actually want to do.

Who is the voice for the kids who are starving for guidance and direction and would give anything for some involved, knowledgeable parents to show them the way? We see this often when kids have a special gift, but the parents are completely foreign to that world, so they take an approach of “Hey kid you are on your own, good luck”. Sometimes it is a case of parents not wanting to be the overbearing, “you are going to do this” kind of parents, so they pull way back almost to a point of aloofness, thus alienating their own child.

So where is the balance? That is a hard question answer because to so many parents what they are doing to them feels right. It is unbelievably difficult these days to tell any parent they are not doing right by their kids. We may see it and be aware of it, but the only real option is to do nothing. It is sad to sit by and watch some kids be pushed way too hard and other not being push nearly enough. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but we are seeing it and recognize it quite often. Go to any ballpark, gym, dance competition or beauty pageant and you are almost certain to see it once if not many, many times.

So, what is the best answer here? Just like we say for all kids we will say here for all adults – EXPOSURE. We need to expose more parents on the proper way of supporting our children. Sometimes it may look like pushing them to demand more of themselves and other times it may look like a big hug and taking them out for ice cream and asking them what, in their heart, do they want to be doing.

With the number of parents getting in fights at kid’s games, you would think we would learn. After all we are the “adults” so to speak. It can be hard to identify when our support and parental pushing of our children towards their goals turns into a hard, abrupt shove in the back to achieve our failed dreams. Be aware. Be present. Hear your own words as you say them. Would they motivate and inspire you? Or do we play the “I’m the adult” card and you must do what I say. As far as having buy- in and building a positive, winning culture in your household, when pushing becomes shoving – we have missed the inspirational boat and are oar less heading straight towards bully dam.