Thank you to everyone who commented on my post from last week – To Push or Not To Push. Life interfered, and I wasn’t able to answer all commenters individually (by the way, it helps to have your email enabled in Blogger profile settings). I especially appreciated comments from experienced parents of multiple children who helped me put my thoughts in perspective. I am the one who knows my child more than anyone else in the world (in Anna’s words, you know too much about me, mama!) and it’s up to me to listen to both her and my own gut instinct. Thinking over the answers also made me understand that she definitely doesn’t need more pushing in the areas where I’ve been pushing – in academics. I need to get real. We only have 1-2 hours a day together during my work week (I don’t count an insanely long and convoluted ritual that is our dinner-bath-books-bedtime routine), and it’s a little silly of me to think that I can do what homeschoolers are doing with their kids in this short period when both of us are often not at their best. What my daughter really needs, however, is habit training, especially in the area of taking care of her belongings and picking up after herself. This is where I have to continue to push and nag and praise until we see progress. What she also needs sometimes is some help in getting her imagination flowing and a playmate. She still loves to have us as her playmates, and even though I’d rather have her play with peers I got to realize lately that I’ve been pushing her to play on her own too much. This early childhood is gone in a blink of an eye, and I’d rather her remember it as time of fun and closeness with her parents than time of drills and power struggles.