I will dare saying that pushing your kids hard it is actually counterproductive.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in hard work, I get to the office by 5AM and work 70+ hours a week, I co-founded a very significant company that helped change the commerce in my country, and I can tell you that hard work had a LOT to do with it. But I wasn’t like that as I grew up in a little town, and my parents wouldn’t push me at school, this is what they thought me:
- You have to find your passion, do something that you love doing. You’ll be very good at doing what you love and the hard work will be worth it.
- Hard work is relative, compare unloading merchandise on your back from trucks (I did it for a few months when I was 19) with working in an office for 10 hours or going to school.
- Enjoy learning, “we send you to school to learn, not to get A’s”, and I still love learning, although I never was an A student (I never did homework, I had already learned the material during class).
Going back to the point, I believe pushing hard your kids at school teaches them that working hard is pointless, after all they don’t get anything out of it!
What I try to do with my kids (not saying you should do the same):
- Teach them to “never give up, never surrender” in the (positive) things they really want, if my oldest wants to skip meals and going late to bed because “his dream is to arm this Lego”, so be it, even on school day. Passion is a first class citizen at our home.
- Teach them to learn and adapt, and the school they attend has a HUGE role in this. They focus on learning, have a lot of people diversity and value colaboration.
- Keep them “real”, everything requires an effort. If we go to Disneyland we travel 21 hours by car even when we can afford going by plane, to buy that great Lego they need to have money of their own (not all, but a part at least) so they organize the garage sell to “renew” their toys.
- Freedom and Responsibility, they go hand on hand.