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Sunday, February 18, 2018

To Push or Not to Push?

This is not a childbirth story, though the title would be appropriate for that as well ;).

As parents in current times, we are very aware about the impacts of stress on our kids, and sometimes this does mean that they get an easy out. I find it tough to decide when to push a bit and when to let go, and I say this as a very easygoing parent on the whole. I'm ok with some opportunities being lost, in trying to make sure that the kids are mentally prepared for anything they get into. On the other hand, as an adult, I know that we cannot always choose our challenges, and I would like my kids to be somewhat prepared for the realistic world they will grow up in.

While studying or practising (at exam time) is something that is a non-negotiable activity in our home, most other things are left to the kids to decide. This is especially true of "additional" exams that I have hardly ever enrolled them in, as they haven't shown much interest in that direction in spite of most of their peers doing it. I look at it as one more exam that I would have to push them for, and that usually makes my decision for me ;).

To be the wind beneath their wings :)
When there was an athletics event coming up this month, my 9 year old was very keen (he's been interested in running/athletics for a while as I mentioned earlier on this post), while my 12 year old .. not so much. I enrolled him, and tried to persuade her a bit to enrol as well, but then just let it be as I thought participating in something like this should be voluntary. They've both been going for classes/training for a few months now, so being physically prepared was not the concern here.

Forward to the day before the event, and the coach messaged me to ask if she could substitute as one of the girls of the relay team in her age category had dropped out. She was quite aghast to begin with and there might have been some tears along the way but she finally was persuaded to go, to help the team out. Or rather she might have realized that I wouldn't take no for an answer ;).

I kept feeling a bit guilty about it, and finally got teary eyed when I saw her running, but she did a really good job of it. She managed to keep up the pace well and even caught up a bit to a runner ahead of her, and the team finally won 2nd place and the silver medal. D was very happy with the silver medal and glad that she had been pushed into it, though I'm still waiting for that thank you note. I am totally taking credit for that medal of course ;).

S's team also won the bronze :)
Side-note: As someone who has been trying to get into running, but find it very challenging as I started on the journey late in life, I am thrilled that my kids have got comfortable with it at a young age :).


  1. I totally get this, babe.

    For me, Gy is a slow starter and rather diffident and needs that push to get more confident. I think it depends on each kid. Some are comfy being pushed. Others rebel. As they say in Tamil, 'Konjam vittu pidikkanam' and see what works for whom.

    He he, that wait for the 'Thank you' is going to be a long one ;) Just saying.

    Motherhood is a journey with no thank you notes, except on birthdays and mother's day. Didn't you know? ;)

    1. Thanks for your support as ever babe <3
      It's been challenging to figure out how AND when to do this, so happy to see that it can work out on occasion ;). And haha yes I seem to get more sorry cards than thank you ones.. doubt if that's changing anytime soon.

  2. One day it all falls into place isn't it. Waiting for the day K realizes I ain't demanding much as a parent.

    1. haha Vidya, I am just happy for the few occasions like this, so quickly wrote it down for posterity ;).

  3. Have you read Amy Chua's Tiger Mom? That's a classic case of how different children take to being pushed. of course she took it to a whole new level but while one of her daughters fell in with her plans and excelled, the other one rebelled. I'm a pretty classic case of a person who needs to be pushed and yet I'm a lousy pusher. I simply cannot sustain it. That said, sometimes it seems a pity that the children are throwing away their talent for lack of persistence. You spoke about those extra exams, right? Well H took up this Math Olympiad one year and qualified for the city-level without any preparation. I though the following year he would try harder and max it but he refused to take even the qualifying exam. It's sad watching them waste away their talent.
    kudos for having the kids cued into running. That's something I've been pushing mine to do too with just about moderate success! Sigh!
    PS: Glad to see activity around here :-) and sorry for that long comment.

  4. So true Aps. I am in the same boat as you, such an easygoing parent that almost everything is "optional". Sometimes I do worry that my kids may be missing some boat (which boat and where to, I don't know!) but then I think that my parents never pushed me and I turned out ok, so ....:)))