Diary of a Dad : Week 37 - Pushy Parents

by Adam Riches

Thinking about pushy parents has always made me laugh. I’ve always said I’ll encourage the boys to do things and help them where I can, but I’ve never wanted to really push them. It’s not in my nature U.K. be like that and I just can’t do it. Yes, I’ll give them more encouragement (let’s call it) if I know they’re playing up, but I never want them to do things they don’t want to.

Our eldest is obsessed with football at the moment and we’re at the park most days kicking the ball around. He’s really coming in and he’s getting fairly decent in fairness…but he’s not even 5 yet. I’m not making him do drills and push-ups in the hope he’ll turn pro (and pay my mortgage off) or anything like that. We go and play and he has fun and gets muddy and we go home. There no structure to it, he’s just playing!

We were at the park the other day though and a boy his age was getting absolutely bearded by his dad. It was all so intense. “No! Like this,” “concentrate!” “Come on!!” It was so difficult to listen to and watch. It was the definition of pushy. The poor kid didn’t want coaching, he wanted to have a kick about with his dad.


Was it unfulfilled dreams? Was it that the dad wanted his boy to have the best chance of success? Was it that dad didn’t have a clue? I’ll never know.

Now we all parent differently, don’t get me wrong. Maybe that little boy wanted a bit of guidance from his dad (or a total beasting!) but it just highlighted to me how we all approach this differently. I’m not sure I could be that direct with a 4-year-old at the park…

We don’t have crystal balls, do we? We can’t know how our kids are going to turn out and we’re all essentially guessing and hoping we do the right thing by them. It might turn out that being pushy will benefit my kids. Am I letting them down by not being more like Head Coach Dad? I don’t think so…but like I say, how are we to know?

I really do want my mortgage paid off by my professional footballing son, but I want him to be happy more than I want to be debt-free. When they’re little, it’s about enjoying them, isn’t it? We all get carried away don’t we…but having a bit of patience and not rushing your kids along means you enjoy them so much more.

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Written by

Adam Riches

Blogger, Teacher and Father of One
Being a parent isn’t something you can ever truly prepare for (no matter how many things you read about!) I don’t think I’ll ever really get it right, but that’s what being a parent is all about for me - effectively winging it and being totally ok with just doing your best at being a dad. I’m stumbling through life as a dad of one and between extracting coco pops from my son’s nose and trying to persuade him that dinosaurs aren’t going to get him at night, I write a bit and I teach a lot.

Articles on YourBabyClub.co.uk are a mixture of informative pieces, anecdotal accounts and professional advice from our panel of Bloggers, Writers and Experts. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official view of Your Baby Club UK

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