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Help! Outside pressure is bringing me down

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 Do I really have to be a tiger mum (Photo: iStock)

 Hi Chris,

I’m enjoying being a mum, but I’m also feeling pressured by my friends to push my children harder and harder, and I don’t feel too good about that.

Do I really have to be a tiger mum?

Harder and Harder

Chris says,

Hi Harder and Harder!

Your friends shouldn’t be pressuring you, because children actually make their own way in the world. And most of what contributes to their future success comes from their genes and what goes on in their lives outside the house. For example, even the tiniest babies already have their own completely unique personalities, and children learn far more of their language in the playground than they do from their parents.

There’s still a lot you can do to make a difference to their lives though. Such as teaching them your values, or how to make good choices in the way they spend their time. Like fewer cartoons and more homework! But one of the most effective ways of ensuring their success is to devote less time to your children and more to your partner. Because we’ve become so obsessed with achievement we’ve forgotten how important it is for children to see that their parents love one another.

So the happier you both are, the happier your children will be. And your happiness will inspire them to learn the skills that will help them to succeed in life. And have good relationships of their own. You don’t have to do anything special. Just let them see you being affectionate, or having a quiet conversation together.

Above all, children are hugely interested in everything you do. So one of the best ways of getting your child to do something is by personal example. This is why the children of people who enjoy a lot of sports, for example, need little persuasion to take part themselves.

Your children are bound to be the centre of your world, but they’re not the be-all and end of it. Just follow your instincts, and be happy together. Because that’s what produces the most successful children!

All the best,


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