Alissa Quart learned to read at three. By the time she was five, her father counted on her to offer presentations on modernist art. In elementary school, she taught her own friends to read. By seven, she had written her first novel; at 10, she was lecturing her companions on everything from film stock to astrology. She routinely read a book a day. When she was a 13-year-old high school freshman, she edited her father's writing. By 17, she had won a dozen creative-writing competitions.
A dream childhood that would handily prepare a bright youngster for the intellectual rigors of life, right? Not really, writes Quart, now 34, in her new book, Hothouse Kids: The Dilemma of the Gifted Child (Penguin Press). "Having been built in the fashion I was as a child — created and then deflated — has left me with a distinct feeling of failure." Quart is unflinchingly honest about her unusual childhood experience. "My father would have bristled at the notion that he was an overbearing puppet master. If I sat absolutely quietly and wrote lyrical verse about tree-tops, I was peachy. My father was hell-bent on bettering my lot — and by extension our family's lot." But, continues Quart in Hothouse Kids, "I was far too young for the Czech films and the difficult novels I was coerced to digest. My father's plan succeeded on one level, of course. I became a hothouse kid."
From this Time article. While pondering the damage pushy parents could do to their children -- even to children who are 'gifted' -- you may go through some 'pushy parents' cartoons. Or, read this poem by Philip Larkin about parents in general.