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Pushy parents are a very touchy subject to talk about. When it comes to the well fare of children, people are always ready to jump and point fingers at others without gathering the facts. The parents of theatre, gifted, and talented children get these nasty fingers pointed at them and most are due to the generalization that the media has made portraying these parents as mean, self righteous, and abusive. The honest truth is that parents care for their children and are not pushy, but instead they direct their children in becoming good adults by protecting them, encouraging them, and being dedicated to them.

In his review of The Trouble With Perfect/The Successful Child/Positive Pushing (Book), Douglas C. Lord talks about the role of the parent. The role of the parent is to protect their children and provide for them all they can to insure that they have the proper tools in order to be successful in life. These tools include such things as having good morals, strong work ethics, phenomenal character, etc. Providing their kids with the mentioned tools, parents protect their kids from becoming failures in life and give them the option to make something of themselves, which far exceeds the expectations of their parents. Parents have to do these things in order to direct their kids. This is believed to be an “absolute moral imperative” (Lord). If your parents did not provide you with these tools, where would you be?

“Pageant moms are the worst,” is something that I heard once. This I have to say is false. The moms and dads of the performing art children have to be the most dedicated parents I personally have ever seen. These parents spend all of their time and energy helping their kids exceed and they always remind their kids of how much they love them. These are almost the craziest and most fanatic parents of them all. They follow their children from competition to competition, from performance to performance, from dance class to rehearsals. These parents are always there and are always willing to help.

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Many times backstage I would see parents who possessed so much love that it would carry over to the other performers and they would start helping those whose parents could not be there that time. These parents encouraged their children but also would give their children a reality check when needed. At times we all needed direction. This is called positive pushing. The point of positive pushing is that it “shares progressive ways to spark achievement” (Lord). Personally, if I ever thought I was the best possible dancer out there, my mom would tell me that I was good but to not get too cocky because I always had room for improvement. My mom always was there for me and helped guide me to becoming a good dancer.

Children need to be directed in order to achieve their full potential. Many people are born with what is called a natural talent. These talents need to be brought out and developed or refined. As parents, it is their obligation to recognize the potential that their children may have and “ are responsible for helping to bring the best in each child—and showing them how to do so” (Lord). Would Mozart have been a great pianist if no one ever sat him in front of a piano? Parents open their children to all experiences and help them succeed on the path they choose. Lord was telling his audience of skeptics that parents encourage their children to do their chosen path because children need to “own” their activities so “that way they are inherently happy and successful” (Lord). Without the direction of their parents, many people would not be the successful doctor, lawyer, singer, actor, etc. It is the parents who people first come in contact with, and it is the parents who give the gift of these great talents to the world. The parents are the “unsung heroes” of the world by providing the world with their upstanding children while they get ridiculed for being great parents.

Unlike the generalization the media makes about parents being cold heartless people pushing their children too far, parents are quicker to help their children back away from a cliff then push them over it. The media portrays dance and pageant moms as being the cause of so many girls having eating disorders. The truth is that the media is actually more responsible for the eating disorders than the parents. The media constantly bombards people on a daily basis with images of false and unhealthy people. By throwing these unhealthy images onto the air in everyone’s faces, many impressionable children and teens become unsatisfied with their appearance. The parents then have to go to their children and reassure them that they are beautiful and look great regardless of what they may think. Even though the media creates more problems for parents, the media does make the parents look like heroes to their children when they encourage them and give them positive affirmation in order to reverse the damages and hardships that the media caused by being over pretentious on the ideal person.

Parents direct and guide their children into being the best they can be. They show their children all they possibly can and they expose them to all they possibly can. They teach their children to strive for the best and to be the best they can in order to succeed. Many people may see them as pushing their children, but if they were to just not help them achieve their full potential, then that would be neglect to the child and would deprive the world of a gem and honest treasure that it possesses.

Work Cited

“ Book Reviews.” Douglas, Lord C. Library Journal
April 1 2002: Vol.127 p132, 2p
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