A little earlier today the Boy Wonder was dropped off after his hockey tournament.  He came running up with a massive grin, eager to show me his medal.  His dad had stayed for the first half of the morning and reported back that they weren’t doing too well, and true to form they lost every game.  But the smile on my boy’s face tells a different story.

Track back to September 2009, another Sunday morning, this one the start of a new Rugby season.  I cajoled the Boy Wonder into his rugby kit; even though it wasn’t absolutely necessary he still had the shorts, socks and shirt, all provided at huge expense courtesy of my generous parents.  This was to be his second season at our local Rugby club, we’d ‘persevered’ our way through the first, traveling to some of the coldest spaces in the cosmos to watch our fledging player.  Commonly it would transpire that I was designated parent and I can honestly say I have never been so cold as on those Sunday mornings.

As leaving time approached I sensed a little reluctance in my son.  Call it a mother’s intuition, or maybe it was the fact that he had a vice like grip on the bannister, sobbing as I tried to drag him to the car.

We sat down and talked.

He explained that he didn’t really like rugby (duh!) and didn’t want to play football, but would still like to have a go at hockey, because he was “really good at hockey.” I remembered the point a  year before where he’d played hockey and come home raving about it, telling us how much he loved it and begging us to let him play again.  We’d largely dismissed it at the time; we didn’t know of any nearby clubs and probably thought he’d forget it immediately.

I had a facepalm moment looking at my boy and in that second I saw a pushy parent, albeit an unwittingly pushy parent trying to find an outlet for her son’s boisterous energy. I asked him whether he still thought about playing hockey.  His enthusiastic nod was answer enough and, remembering an advert I’d seen that week for a local club looking to grow its youth team,  I made a quick call and we jumped into the car, not really knowing what to expect…

So here we are at the end of the season and I don’t care that his team lost every match.  He’s happy.

As it’s Mother’s Day I’d like to dedicate this post to my lovely mum.  I’ve asked her over the years why I didn’t do ballet, play the piano, go to stageschool etc etc… obviously blaming her for the fact that I’ve not fulfilled my primadonna potential.

She simply says:

“You didn’t want to”


Pushy? Me?
Tagged on:                 

14 thoughts on “Pushy? Me?

  • March 14, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Great post. Have found myself too in that moment of being the unwitting “pushy parent” and had to silently slap myself. Only happened the once but was enough to terrify me. Well done you for listening to him.

    Happy Mother’s Day

    MD xx

  • March 14, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    That’s the convo I’ll be having with my boys in the future! They are not footballers, rugby players, piano players or any such thing. We offer them the opportunity but when they say no we don’t push it. I know other people’s kids who are thoroughly miserable at having to do clubs they don’t really want to do. It’s about listening to your children, innit? Good for you and great post.

  • March 14, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    I love your mum’s reply!

    So long as your son’s happy that’s the best thing in the world. A happy childhood means a secure future. What a lovely post. Happy Mothers Day to you.

    CJ xx

  • March 14, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    I love your Mums reply too! I do try to watch out for this, having seen some of those nightmare programmes on TV where the parents are practically living through their child to fulfil some childhood dream. Extreme I know but makes me shudder anyway. Children do have a tendency to jump from one activity to another, it’s great that he has been playing for so long now. My sons football team won their first match of the season (?) 2 weeks ago and we are still celebrating. We will still go and stand on the sidelines (absolutely freezing) and cheer the team on:) Jen.

  • March 15, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Aaaww at least he’s loving every minute of it – that’s the main thing.

    And never be a pushy parent… it’s the worst thing ever. I see kids who are timetabled for every single minute of their out-of-school time and they are like robots, and I look at my youngest, running to the park with a football under his arm, his shoelaces trailing and a group of mates just as mucky as he is and I just *know* that he’s happy, getting exercise and being a child 🙂

    Hope you’ve had a lovely Mother’s Day. You deserve it x

  • March 15, 2010 at 10:10 am

    It’s so wonderful when you don’t have to say, ‘It’s the taking part that matters’ because they’re having so much fun they don’t mind whether or not they win.

    We have waxed and waned our way through various clubs over the years, desperate for extra-curricular activities to absorb a little of my son’s bounciness.

    You’re right, though, occasionally one has to give oneself a little slap – remembering that you just want your child to have fun, not to be all-singing, all-dancing sporting hero.

    The latest passion is climbing (albeit on a climbing wall). Never seen my son so focussed – or sweaty! Brilliant physical and mental stimulation. And the only competition you face on the wall is with yourself.

  • March 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks MD,there’s such a proliferation of choice out there that I think it can be hard not to fall into the trap sometimes.

    Hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day…mine was ace!


  • March 15, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I think we all see examples of kids that are being pushed and it’s not a pretty sight. I think that sometimes there’s a fine line to tread- you may know that they love an activity but are just having a bout of nerves…but that’s a nudge rather than a push!

    And yes, it’s all about listening…simples! Step aside Jo Frost…

  • March 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    She a wise woman! She also phoned me after I posted this and said it sounded like they never let me do anything *can’t win face*…

    I think it’s really important to make your own choices and this starts in childhood, and as you say it’s the basis of a secure future.

    Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day xx

  • March 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    That’s a big part of it isn’t it? Parents who didn’t have the opportunities available today forcing their children in so they can live it vicariously….it’s a dangerous path.

    Congratulations to you son- that’s excellent…and at least the jumping around will warm you up a little on the sideline! xx

  • March 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Your boy sounds like he’s living the dream…that’s exactly how it should be, I agree. It’s a slightly different subject but I like the whole idea of wanting to do something….having a dream and working to make it happen. Too many kids (and adults) think that e’thing should be handed to them on a plate because they never had to want for anything…it’s an important lesson to learn.

    You’d better have had a lovely Mother’s Day too, because if anyone deserves it, it’s you… 🙂


  • March 15, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Well hello there friend! Lovely to see you here!

    I wouldn’t mind him being a sporting hero, as long as it was his choice …d’you think he’d buy me a house?

    Climbing is a brilliant pursuit, such a mental challenge as well as a physical one, we’ll get to go there together one of these here days.


  • March 15, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Oh well done you! I have watched so many parents competing with each other over the number of extra curricular activities their darlings go to and how amazing they are at everything it makes my blood boil.

    It is so important to listen to kids and to listen carefully…looking beyond the whine to see if it is just a blip, a ‘can’t be bovvered’ moment or if there is more to it than that and they genuinely hate something. It can be harder to say ‘actually, that’s fine’ than to say ‘I’ve paid for it, you said you wanted to do it, now get on with it’ (which I have heard on more than one occasion).
    So, a big pat on the back to you for being such a lovely Mum.

    Glad you had a lovely mothers day, mine was a corker!

  • March 15, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    So glad you had a good one too 🙂

    Sage advice Christine, I’m a long way from perfection but I do keep trying at least…what else can we do?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *