Tips for Encouraging Kids, Not Pushing Them #CNNParents

golfing-kid-having funWhen it comes to sports and activities, what’s the difference between encouraging your kids and pushing them? Case in point: When I was 4, I told my mom I wanted to quit ballet because it was too “prissy.” She agreed and I hung up my ballet slippers and tutu…As a 44 year old I wish I had stayed with ballet as I am pretty sure I’d be a little more graceful both on and off the dance floor (Although I can still do a mean Chicken Dance).

On the other hand, I cringe every time I think about the “tennis moms” I grew up with who would berate their daughters and sons every time they hit a bad shot. So here I am wishing my mom “pushed” me a little yet also feeling contempt for those parents who “pushed” their kids too much.

Where’s the fine line? Enter Kelly Wallace,  who recently wrote a new piece for CNN Parents entitled: How Not to be a Scary Stage Parent. In the article, Wallace talks to experts and moms including Jennifer Hartstein, Michelle Obama, and me! (I know, crazy cool ~ right?) About how the difference between encouraging our kids and pushing them. The funny thing is my mom may have let me hang up my ballet shoes but there is one thing she and my dad taught me well, Try enough things that you can find what you love, then working on it will be a joyful experience and not one that needs to be “pushed.”

Did you get pushed or encouraged as a child? Do you wish there was something you didn’t “quit”? Leave us a comment below and don’t forget to enter our cool Americana CD Contest! We’ll pick a winner on July 6!