Does being a pushy parent work?

Posted Tuesday 11th December 2012   By Ericka Waller

So the new primary school curriculum is ‘riddled with errors’. This is the best news I’ve heard in ages. It means I no longer have to feel guilty about doing zero reading or writing practice with my daughter. We would probably just be wasting our time, learning all the wrong things.

She is four, just four. She still struggles to wipe her bum, why does she have to be able to spell shelf? She can’t even reach one.

I don’t get to hang out with her all day.  When I do get her back I don’t want spend the evening trying to ‘pull letters out her mouth’ or singing naff songs that get stuck in my head for days afterwards.  (Puff out the candles on the pink pig cake, P P P!)

Luckily for me, she has as much interest in learning to read she does in wiping her own bum. Super Thing 287x300 Does being a pushy parent work?

All she wants to do is dress up as a Superhero and cast spells on her sisters.

I think how early children can read is more for the benefit of pushy parents wanting to prove their own skills and intelligence, than for the benefit of their child.

My mother did no reading or writing practice with me*.  She had three-under-five like I have, and also found a book got used as nothing more than a weapon to hit a sibling over the head with, or maybe to gnaw on when teething.

The only time I can read to my children is when they are about to fall asleep, and therefore too tired to argue over who gets to hold the book, or turn over the page.

I treasure this time. I remember my mum reading me the Jabberwocky when I was four. I would lie in bed enthralled, mouthing the words into the darkness of my room before falling asleep dreaming of ‘slithy toves’.

I don’t want Thing-one to read or write yet. I want her head to remain full of her own secret, unwritten, nonsensical language.

May she find wonder in the plastic tie of a bread-bag for as long as possible, and leave the reading up to me.

Is anyone out there with me on this one?

*The lack of encouragement did me no harm. Only last month I got in trouble with the husband for racking up a £110 bill on Amazon downloading books for my Kindle.

Read the full article about being a pushy parent here