Are you a pushy parent? There’s a big difference between being supportive and being pushy. Pushy parents often feel inadequate in their own way and try to live vicariously through their children. Instead of seeing their children as individuals with their own hopes and dreams, they foist their own (often toxic and distorted) attitudes and ambitions onto their children.
Research has shown that pushy parenting does tend to lead to children with higher grades but it also stifles children and encourages them to be less creative, more nervous and stressed and less able to think for themselves. Children are motivated, not out of passion from within, but rather from an external source – the disapproval of their parents.
Sadly, I have met many clients who, as adults, are unfulfilled and never feel good enough. They strive relentlessly yet never feel happy. They never quite felt they had the approval of their parents and as a result are constantly trying to fill a bottomless pit.
Due to the parenting they received, they have distorted views and ideas and what brings happiness. They believe they have to be captain of the rugby team of earning vast sums of money yet even when/if they get this they don’t feel content. Why? Because they have the wrong idea about what will bring them happiness. The more pushy the parent, the more the ‘essential’ qualities of the child are destroyed until that child no longer even knows themselves. Their passions and innate wishes have been stamped out completely and they have become a puppet, trying to please their parents.
Enlightened parents support and encourage their children but they don’t push. They leave lots of free space for their children to develop their own ideas and character without pushing their warped versions of the world onto their children.
Our children can disappoint us, we may wish for a child that was more intellectual, more sporty or more outgoing but it is the wise parent that accepts their child as they are and loves them anyway. They are on this planet to find themselves not to live out unfulfilled dreams of their parents.
So, if you think you are a pushy parent. Stop and really listen to your children. Start to nurture their essential self rather than their social conditioned self. Who are they as people? Are they naturally quiet? Are they naturally more in tune with nature than the sporty rowdy type. Honour them as they are. This builds true self confidence, self belief and self acceptance.