We all want the best for our kids, and these days there is a growing chorus of voices telling us that this means pushing them to work harder. Just about every aspect of a child or teen’s life these days is a competition. But to excel at school, sports, the arts, spelling, debating, social media, even texting (yes, there is a US National Texting Competition), means going that little bit further than others are prepared to go.

And the difficult question – for parents and teachers alike – is knowing when it’s good for a child to be pushed and when it’s not.

Previous generations had a ready answer this question: It’s always good. The assumption was that children need to learn how to persevere if they are going to succeed in life, and no one ever said this was going to be easy. The problem, however, is that we are seeing too many kids these days that are falling by the wayside: struggling with anxiety, poor concentration, or health issues, shying away from challenges, choosing to be endlessly entertained. Is this telling us that they haven’t been pushed hard enough, or that they’ve already been pushed too hard? This is such a difficult question for parents.


– Stuart Shanker

Read More: When to Push a Child

Photo Source – Psychology Today