It is the dream of every parent to see their kids successful and thriving. They want their kids to be academically exceptional. In primary school, they danced on the side of the stage while their kids perform. They want them to perfect their dance steps in front of the crowd. In high school, parents attend every imaginable sporting event their kids are involved in. They send them to piano, ballet, and art classes after school. They honed and molded their kids, so they have a better chance of getting into a prestigious college.
Some families want to send their kids to top IB schools because they know it’s best for their future careers. And yet, parents always find themselves in limbo when their kids started building their own dreams and planning how to reach those dreams. What happens if your kids don’t want to take the path you created for them? What will happen if they don’t want to go to the university you saved for all your life?
When They Don’t Share Your Dreams
A lot of kids will want to go to a university or college. They will seek opportunities, even if their parents cannot afford it. But then again, your kid might not be like other kids. What you dream for your kids might not be the same dreams they have. What if they don’t want to attend a university? What if they have other plans? How do you deal with that?
Parents can’t sit down and accept that their kids don’t want to pursue higher education. In many Asian countries, it is an absolute no-no for kids (especially from families with means) to stop going to school after secondary education. But should you push your kids? Should you force them to apply for a university?
Sit down and talk calmly. You might want to scream and shout at them, but this generation is built differently. They want to be heard. So that’s what you should do. Hear them out. Negotiate with them. Strike a balance between them doing what they want and you getting what you want, which is for them to attend college. Surely, with love and respect, you can find common ground?
When They Don’t Want to Follow Your Footsteps
So, you went to the best school in the country. You even earned a master’s degree from a school outside the country. You dream that your kids will want the same thing. But what if that doesn’t happen? What if your kids have different dreams and goals? What if they don’t want to join the family business?
It is easy to say that you’ll cut them off to let them live on their own. Throw them out of the house so that you won’t have a problem, right? But is this the best approach to this generation? Your concern should be how to help your kids pursue their dreams and not yours. You cannot guilt them into doing what you want. Remember that as parents, you want them to live happy and fulfilling lives.
Find out instead what they want to do. How can you compromise? How can you guide them so that they remain self-sufficient in the future? The same principle applies to your kids’ students and counselors. They don’t have to push or force them to pursue things they don’t want. That will only make them miserable and less productive. The right word is guidance. That’s what you should do—guide them to the right path, but never steer the boat for them.
When They Don’t Welcome Your Input
You’re ready to compromise and strike a balance between what you want and what your kids want. The problem is that they don’t. They don’t want your input. They barely listen to you. Make sure they know what they are getting into. If they don’t want to listen to you, the least you can do is tell them that they have to face the consequences of their actions.
As tempting as it might be for you in the future to help them with the mess they get into, don’t. They are adults. Let them handle their own mess. You have to let them learn their lessons. Step in only once they asked for help but let them deal with things by themselves.
Overall, it is tempting to want to control what your kids want to do with their lives. But don’t fall into that trap. What your relationship needs is respect. It will help you strike a balance between what you dream for them and what they actually want to achieve in the future.