Last year my son went through Kindergarten, and he doesn't realize all the things that he learned while there: More structure than he had in the past, socialization on a grander scale, more rules and regular homework.
If you ask him about Kindergarten, he will say it was "too easy."
This year as we approach first grade, I will have to pay closer attention to his attitude toward school and make sure that he is challenged. In other words: I will have to adopt some of the rules of the "good" pushy parent:
- Teach kids to lose. If you learn how to deal with failure when you are a child; it makes life easier.
- Teach kids how to study. Smart children are rarely taught how to study because learning comes so naturally to them. When they get older and really need to study, they don't know how.
- Expose children to those who share their interests, as well as those who are different. It's hard to be the only child in the class who is into one subject - finding children with like interests helps children feel normal and spending time with children who have different interests helps them realize that there is more to explore in life.