Thursday, February 9, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Jenn: when Push comes to Shove

I have been thinking a lot about this subject lately, pushing versus shoving. We all push our kids. Give them a nudge in the right direction. Maybe even challenge them a little. When do we go beyond pushing? When does that gentle nudge become a shove over a cliff?

I have been thinking about my boy's chemistry teacher. He teaches above and beyond what the kids need to know. He likes to think of it as "challenging" them. I am seeing it more as throwing my kids future up in the air. I don't know how many kids are being challenged by their teachers. Maybe teachers don't realize they are doing it. Maybe some teachers dumb the materials down so they look better when their students perform well. Here's what I do know. When you challenge kids who aren't quite up to it, they get bad grades. These grades end up on their report cards & colleges see them. They don't know your teacher shoved you over a cliff...they just think you didn't perform as well as The kid sitting next to you. They don't know your teacher gave His class a harder mid-term than all the other kids taking the same subject with a different teacher and scoring 90's when your class is scoring 60's, 70's & 80's. They don't know that the 84 you got was the highest in the class.

Is the shove worth it? Do we force our kids to rise above it & work through it & get it done? I don't know. I am guilty of pushing my kids too hard or too far sometimes and not enough others. Of letting them quit a sport because it wasn't for them any more. Of not making them get out there and "just do it." I have shoved sometimes too. Forced them to do something they didn't want to. Stay till the end of the season. Was it worth it? I won't know until I see what kind of adults they turn out to be. Right now I think they are pretty good kids so maybe I haven't pushed too hard after all.

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