View Poll Results: How far would you push your kid to maximize his potential?

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  • Spare no effort, go all the way, nothing matters more.

    0 0%
  • Push hard, and assume some balance remains.

    5 31.25%
  • Push some, but balance is more important.

    9 56.25%
  • What you are is more important than what you made yourself (however big).

    2 12.50%
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Thread: Is there a limit to how far a parent should push his/her child?

  1. #1
    Educator / Liar Champion ab9924's Avatar
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    Is there a limit to how far a parent should push his/her child?

    Okay, the other thread where I wanted to discover this stalled in the total lack of my clarity, so maybe we can discover it here. Some parents believe that there is no limit how far and in what way they should push their children to "maximize their potential". At some places this attitude is at national proportions. It is surprising how few parents in the world think in terms of raising a "balanced individual". So, if you are a parent, where would you put the line between the win-or-lose and the what-the-kid-is?

    Maybe even more importantly, if you are a kid, how do you save your piece when every minute of every day is already scheduled for you to discard yourself and to go full steam ahead to "maximize your potential"?

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    Re: Is there a limit to how far a parent should push his/her child?

    This poll has just the right number of options.

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    Re: Is there a limit to how far a parent should push his/her child?

    I see nothing wrong with pushing a child and being an involved parent. Now I think in order to set your child up for success you need to be involved, but not dictating his or her every move. They need to be able to survive on their own. If what you are asking is should there be a law against it. No. Every parent has different styles. You can only help your kids so long before they become independent. Why not do as much as possible?
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    Re: Is there a limit to how far a parent should push his/her child?

    Quote Originally Posted by ab9924 View Post
    Okay, the other thread where I wanted to discover this stalled in the total lack of my clarity, so maybe we can discover it here. Some parents believe that there is no limit how far and in what way they should push their children to "maximize their potential". At some places this attitude is at national proportions. It is surprising how few parents in the world think in terms of raising a "balanced individual". So, if you are a parent, where would you put the line between the win-or-lose and the what-the-kid-is?

    Maybe even more importantly, if you are a kid, how do you save your piece when every minute of every day is already scheduled for you to discard yourself and to go full steam ahead to "maximize your potential"?


    My young friend, you have actually asked a good and reasonable question, kudos.

    As a parent, it is common to wish for your children to excel in some way... many parents already have planned out exactly HOW they want their child to excel, and how they intend to get them there.

    Now, this isn't bad in and of itself... it is better than parents who don't really care and are just "meh, whatever you want to do". The problem comes when a parent tries to hammer a square peg into a round hole.

    Children are not tabula rasa... blank slates on which to write. I know a couple who are ball fanatics, and all three of their children are ball fanatics and very good at it.

    That's fine... but what if one of their children was not athletically gifted, or just plain hated playing ball? They don't have that problem, but what if they did? I'd hope they would look at the situation rationally, and if the child gave it their best try but just wasn't any good at it or hated it, that they would modify their expectations and seek some other venue in which the child COULD excel.

    Same with academics. Some people are not suited to excelling in academics, but might have strong talents for art, or literature, or building/making things with their hands. There are many talents in this world, and almost everyone has at least one.... but not necessarily the one their parents WANTED for them.

    Certainly parents should encourage and help their child to excel in what they do, but they should also be able to recognize when "the plan" is going to have to be modified.

    Then there is the "upper limit". A lot of people don't like to acknowlege this, but most people do indeed have an upper limit in how far they can go in a given field of endeavor. For instance, if you want your child to play professional sports, they've got to start off with considerable native talent then work very hard at developing it to the max... even then, there's a lot of uncertainty in that line of effort. Not everyone has what it takes to play pro ball, and not everyone has the drive and desire to do the work. If your child doesn't have the potential, trying to force it isn't going to work. If they DO have the potential, but just really flat-out do NOT want to make the sacrifices and devote themselves to pursuing it, that is a train wreck in the making.

    Ditto for trying to make a child into a rocket scientist when they bust ass and struggle just to produce B's in school. Most of us have an upper limit to what we can achieve... most people are not Magic Johnson, nor Albert Einstein.

    Shouldn't we try to encourage and even "push" our children to excel in whatever they ARE good at though? Yes, it is good to do so... to a reasonable point. Trying to force them to sacrifice anything resembling a normal life in favor of making the Olympic team when they don't want to do that, is taking it too far IMO.

    Balance.

    I also know a LOT of parents who seem to schedule every minute of their children's life... every single day, the kids are either attending gymnastics or dance or karate or classes in something or organized social events, to the point that I wonder if the kid ever has five minutes to him/her self, or time to figure out anything about themself absent parentally scheduled activities.

    Again, I think balance is important. Giving kids lots of positive activities is a good thing, but anything can be taken to excess.


    That's my two bits...

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    Re: Is there a limit to how far a parent should push his/her child?

    Personally, I'd rather raise a child to be a good person, and happy, than to be someone who society would label as "successful".

    I will push my children, but it will only be pushing them to do their best in what makes them happy.
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    Re: Is there a limit to how far a parent should push his/her child?

    Its your kids life not yours. If you want something to get what you could not build an android otherwise let the kid find their own way. Guide them yes, show them right from wrong yes, help them learn and understand yes. try not to influence them with your shortcomings and prejudices yes.

    Have them live your life for you NO. Have them achieve your dreams NO. Drive them so they fall apart or have no identity of their own NO

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    Re: Is there a limit to how far a parent should push his/her child?

    The polls asserts "pushing hard" does not also include balance - just not the balance the OP means.

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    Re: Is there a limit to how far a parent should push his/her child?

    Quote Originally Posted by ab9924 View Post
    Okay, the other thread where I wanted to discover this stalled in the total lack of my clarity, so maybe we can discover it here. Some parents believe that there is no limit how far and in what way they should push their children to "maximize their potential". At some places this attitude is at national proportions. It is surprising how few parents in the world think in terms of raising a "balanced individual". So, if you are a parent, where would you put the line between the win-or-lose and the what-the-kid-is?

    Maybe even more importantly, if you are a kid, how do you save your piece when every minute of every day is already scheduled for you to discard yourself and to go full steam ahead to "maximize your potential"?
    There's a part of me that believes ADD is parent-nurtured.

    Parents who think "success" is having their children's time taken up with sports, ballet lessons, piano lessons, violin lessons, tap dancing, (insert anything else here), are crazy. As in c.r.a.z.y. What kind of success is that fostering? Flitting from here to there? Keeping up with the Joneses? Good over-the-fence conversation?

    All at the expense of family time, in my opinion. Dad works all day. Mom works all day. "Let's grab a bite at the kitchen counter...here's your cereal. Time to go to soccer practice." Are you kidding me?? This is somehow better than mom, dad and their two kids sitting down at the dinner table and actually, you know, talking??

    When do kids get to play? When do they get to use their imaginations? Play "Weather Girl"? (I always loved playing Weather Girl.) Play school teacher. (I always loved playing school teacher.) Add computer games to that scenerio, and we're raising zombies, for God's sake.

    It's about family, folks. F.a.m.i.l.y.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

  9. #9
    Educator / Liar Champion ab9924's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a limit to how far a parent should push his/her child?

    Thanks ALL for the replies. I have learnt a great deal from them.

    I think I fall squarely into Goshin's last category (the 2nd last paragraph), and MaggieD's objection.

    I am not run by my parents, but by a script that they assembled. The people who execute it (or the script itself) does exactly the booking of every single minute that I have energy to spend awake. It is only my extreme efficiency of differentiating task priorities that allows me to even think about what is peace and not work. I have now progressed from being a person to being a program, something that software application developers write, and I have squarely exited the human world.

    I think I got a first hand understanding of what it is to be a creation of parents, my friends are now at gallactic distances. You all have helped me understand that this is simply the generic parental nature. Maybe I can ask a (cheeky?) piggyback question, is there a good way to research how to get back to the human world and map a way back from planet Zod? It would be nice to have a trick for that. I can't change my environment, but you all have excellent ideas most of the time, I guess I could use a few. Thanks.
    Last edited by ab9924; 11-01-12 at 09:27 PM.

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    Re: Is there a limit to how far a parent should push his/her child?

    my parents pushed me hard in school, but there was always balance, and the pressure was applied in a rational way. that is absolutely key. too much pressure is counter productive.

    i am appreciative every day for my parents doing it the right way, and i have told them this multiple times. i'm glad i figured it out early enough to say thanks.

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