Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Pushy parenting

Image Credit:

Are you a pushy parent when it comes to your children's education?

I'm going to have to put my hands up and say that I've realised recently that I guess I am to a degree. I'm not entirely proud of it but I am certainly not going to apologise for it either. I'd like to think that rather than actually pushing my children, I am pushing for them.

I had a situation recently at school with my eldest where I felt that she was no longer progressing in her reading at school. At parents evening a few months ago, her teacher had mentioned she wouldn't move her again this year, which initially I was fine with but as time went gone on I started to feel it was a shame that she was being essentially "held back" with no real justification. 

My daughter is bright - she's not the brightest by any stretch of the imagination. I'm not going to tell you she is a child genius or anything but she is a really good reader and one or two reading age years ahead of herself. She can read her school books standing on her head with her eyes closed and they were no longer captivating her or holding her attention like I believe books should. What's more, I could feel my attention was slipping from her because she didn't need my help and it's a shame because she loves to learn. Seriously. Her idea of fun is a spelling test with mummy or a sheet of sums with grandma.

So I intervened by speaking with the head and subsequently, after careful assessment, it has been decided that she is more than capable of the next reading level and comprehension work and so has been moved up.  She brought her first higher level book home last night and whilst it's still relatively easy for her to read, the structure and content are more detailed and advanced, giving her something to think about and something we can talk about and work on together. She was so much more enthusiastic about it.

I initially felt wrong for raising it as an issue, like I was making a mountain out of a molehill but now I feel justified.  I'm sure her class teacher is probably gunning for me right now and I really don't want to be labelled a pushy parent but on the other hand I do want my children to be able to reach their full potential, and be given the opportunities to do so. If it means I have to get involved in what is going on at school, then I will do so. 

I'm of the belief that if my children fail in their education, I cannot purely blame the school as I have some level of control and input into what happens so it's my job to keep an eye on the ball. I don't believe that when it comes to your children's education that the buck stops with the school.

So I will continue to push - but not to my children's detriment, only for things that will benefit them and obviously their happiness comes first.. I mean, my daughter doesn't really like sport so I'm hardly going to push her into joining the girls football team...but she loves swimming and is good at it, has amazing confidence and therefore I will push for her, to make sure she gets the best teaching and is not overlooked.

Would you consider yourself a pushy parent? Would you/do you intervene with your children's education and learning? Would love to hear your views.


  1. As a teacher, one of the things we have to do is leave our egoes at the door. It's not about us the teachers but about the pupils. I consider it a parent's job to tell me things I may not see among 30 children but that is apparent in the one-to-one set up at home. Good for you for stepping up and please give the teacher credit for being pleased for your daughter as well (unless she patently isn't).

  2. I think you were absolutely right to talk to the teacher about it. The difficulty with the increasingly large class sizes in state schools (and the bad behaviour of a small number of students, and the focus on % passing the minimum standard etc etc) is that it causes the focus to be on the underachieving kids, instead of the higher-achieving ones. This isn't the teacher's fault individually, it's the structure of the system! My parents intervened and I was actually moved up a year, which turned out to be a bad idea for me socially but the next best thing to homeschooling me as I was so, so bored. I sort of wish that hadn't happened, but it all worked out well in the end as I am sure it will with your daughter.


I always like to hear your thoughts, so please do leave a comment!