The idiom means to attempt to help the shoots grow by pulling them upward—to spoil things by excessive enthusiasm.
This story comes from the writings of Gongsun Chou – Mencius. Mencius was a famous statesman, educator, and thinker during the Warring States Period. Gongsun Chou was one of his disciples. A story was told about a farmer who saw his neighbor’s crops grow taller than his. So this farmer decided to pluck his crops to make them look taller just like his neighbor’s. He expected the same results of his neighbor’s, but when the farmer’s son ran out to see the results, the crops were withered. There were a lot of these types of people in ancient times, but they are not stupid or muddleheaded, they just think and act unreasonably. Following the subjective wish, rather than the objective rule, they are too eager to achieve a goal. We should let nature take its course, anxiousness will help an event to develop results in the contrary to our intent, or even doing harm to society and ourselves.
Example Sentence :
Teaching children in this way simply means applying too much pressure and damaging them.