Great Kids With Pushy Parents

The athlete. The musician. The brain. The homecoming queen. The prodigy. The social butterfly. The class clown. The “Most Likely to Succeed.” Let’s face it, we all have a tendency for visions of grandeur at one time or another—you know, dreams of climbing the ladder and eventually reaching the top of the heap. Still, out of everyone who dreams of trophies, accolades, and accomplishments, I think parents dream the most often.

It starts from the very beginning, in the very first moment. You hold that little bundle of joy, and when you look at them, it’s like an explosion of love happens in your heart. Instantly, you’re convinced that this tiny, wriggling somebody is nothing short of amazing—destined for greatness. It’s a healthy feeling, really, to experience that kind of love for your child. It’s good for boys and girls to grow up knowing that their parents believe in them. However, at times a love like this can get distorted by parents who get pushy.

A perfect example of this can be found on almost every little league field, at almost every elementary school play, at almost every kids’ choir concert in town. If you look closely, you’ll find pushy parents everywhere—on the sidelines, in the bleachers, in the backstage wings. You can tell them apart from the other parents because their cheers are wilder and their frustration is louder, and because they usually complain when their kid isn’t center stage. They say that the coach is lousy, that the leader is blind, or that whoever’s in charge “just doesn’t know talent.”

Mostly, though, these parents are forever expecting more. For whatever reason, their child’s talent, drive, or performance is never enough. There’s always a note that could be better, a skill that needs practice, an execution that somebody else does better. Forget about the once-amazing bundle of joy—now these parents aren’t content with anything but superstardom. It makes you wonder if their child will ever feel good enough to measure up.

I think parents need a reminder to relax and let kids be kids, to let them discover what they love and to let them have fun with it. We can learn to make accomplishments and trophies secondary. We can let our kids grow up knowing that we’ll always be cheering—that no matter how good they are at something, it’ll always be great.