When Push Comes to Shove

Throughout life parenting is about a push in one form or another.

Life can’t even begin without a big push from a child’s mother.

That first push may be the most important, but it is only one of many. As your child grows up you find yourself pushing them many times as a parent.

You push your child in a stroller, so that they can see a little more of the world.

You push your child on a swing, so they can have fun and you can hear their laughter.

You push doors open for them until they learn to do it on their own.

You push the right foods towards them so they will learn to eat properly.

You push things away from them that are dangerous or harmful.

You may have to push them gently into the classroom when they begin their first day of school.

You might push them into a sport or activity that makes sense for them, just make sure it does.

With each step in childhood you give your kid a push here and a push there. Some pushes are little and others bigger. Some kids require more pushes than others, but the goal for each parent is the same. Keep pushing your child forward in the path of life.


As your child gets older and nears adulthood the pushing gets a bit trickier. You have the responsibility to push your child in the direction of what is right and away from what’s wrong. This is happening while they are starting to push away. They want to discover the world and they feel a need to form their own opinion on things. This is the time to push carefully and you must sometimes push gently and subtly. During this time if you push too hard you may end up pushing them into a bad decision. It’s the time when they think they know it all and their attitude may end up pushing your buttons. If this happens, don’t push the panic button. Instead, remember what you went through as a teen and even as a young adult. You can always ask for advice from other parents who have been there before or read books on parenting advice (there are plenty of them out there).


Once your child becomes an adult, gets married and has a life of their own you have to be the most careful about pushing. This is a time when you still want to push but you need to back away a bit and just be there for them. You’ll try to push your thoughts about making them a better person, push ideas on how they can live their life or you’ll even try to push your adult child into a guilt trip or two. Once your child hits adulthood you need to stop pushing them so much and you need to start pushing yourself into becoming a better, wiser and perhaps more caring person. It’s the time when you have to recognize the difference between a push that’s a loving nudge and a push that’s a frustrated shove.


Parenting is about pushing in the early years. You hope to do your best and that you push your child in the right direction. Once your child is an adult, parenting is less about the push and more about the embrace. Embrace the time your child shares with you, embrace their uniqueness and embrace the positive gifts they share with you and the world. Embrace the decisions they’ve made (they have learned from them), embrace their spouse (they love them) and embrace their children (they raise & adore your grandkids). Embrace each of your children equally and love them all unconditionally. Once they’ve grown up and you’ve grown older embrace your kids more and stop pushing, because every one knows if you push something too hard you just end up pushing it away!

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