Good parenting entails ‘pushiness’ – fighting to give our children opportunities is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.

Pushy parents have got themselves a bad name – but why? Research from Leicester and Leeds Universities show they’re one of our country’s most effective commodities: their children work harder, and do better. The research, which used data from the National Child Development Study for pupils born in 1958, found that the effort put in by parents was more effective than either a child’s own efforts, or the school’s attitude.

Unfortunately, “pushiness” has become a tag associated with “middle-class”, and that’s been part of the turn-off. But it’s all a shame for children, because pushy parents don’t have to be middle-class; and what we should be aiming for, rather than stigmatising some parents because of their socio-economic status, is empowering more parents – whatever their income level or background – to take the initiative, to encourage their children in their schoolwork and to weigh in when their children need extra help or attention.

In fact, in my view “pushiness” is simply a description for what I’d call “good parenting”. Every parent should do what this research shows will work: things such as reading to their children, attending parents’ meetings at school and putting a high value on the importance of education. For schools, after all, children exist in groups – ability sets, classes, forms, year groups. However excellent a school is, it’s interested in the “mass”, whereas we – the parents – are interested in our children as individuals. Being “pushy” is simply another word for looking out for them as individuals, in helping them to access educational opportunities and to achieve their own potential. A teacher will tell you what proportion of children got what grade at GCSE: a parent will tell you what his or her own child achieved.

Ultimately, pushing for our child’s success is one of the greatest gifts we have to give them. Of course that should never extend to refusing to be realistic and nor should it involve reducing another child’s chances so that our own child can succeed. But I’d argue that pushy parents can improve the outlook for all children – by taking issue with schools over standards, for example, they up the game for all pupils, not just their own. They’re also good role models for their kids: if our child is finding schoolwork difficult, there’s something we can do about it. We go to see the teacher; we ask what extra work we could do to help; we spend more time on it at home. In other words, when the going gets tough we don’t give up or feel impotent: we do something. It’s not just an exercise in better learning, it’s a life lesson, too.

Pushiness is harder for some parents than others. I’ve got four children, and the researchers found that the more kids you have, the less pushy you are (which isn’t surprising – for obvious reasons, it’s a lot harder to be on the case with four children than two, especially when you and your partner both work full-time). So I’m determined to be more pushy. It works, and my kids deserve nothing less.

[BE YOUR CHILD’S FIRST MATH TEACHER! – Teach Your Child to Count to 10 – ChildUp Early Learning Game & Method](”)

IS YOUR CHILD KINDERGARTEN READY? iCount-to-10 – Teach Your Child to Count to 10 – Early Learning Game & Method for iPad

Source: The Guardian –