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    Supporting Your Childís Dream While Maintaining Your Sanity

    By Sara Richmond Walls     

    Sometimes itís hard for parents to understand the things that make their children tick. Whether itís dancing, writing, painting, running, archery, etc., we often become infatuated with something in our youth. That one thing is what keeps us breathing and makes us get up in the morning. These dreams follow us, and sometimes we decide to follow the dream in return and use them to make a living. So how do you react when your fourteen-year-old son comes to you wanting to play for the NBA or your daughter tells you she wants to major in art? Read below for a few suggestions.

    Donít be A Dictator

    The very first thing you have to admit to yourself is that the journey your children will take when they grow into adulthood is ultimately their decision. Be willing to give advice, but understand that the young adult in your family may or may not take it. All you are in control of is your life and your decision making. You cannot control your childrenís actions and the journeys they choose to embark on in life. You can, however, choose how you react to them. So donít try to force them into something they donít want to do. Chances are it will back fire, and your advisee will toss your good advice right out with what they consider ďbadĒ advice.

    Mind over Manipulation

    In addition to blatantly trying to control your son or daughter, one of the worst things you can do is use your position as provider to manipulate these decisions. For example, do not say to your college student ďAs long as Iím paying for your college, you will major in something worthwhile.Ē One of the saddest things I have ever heard a young adult say was that she majored in a specific subject area because if she didnít, her parents would not pay for her college.

    Open Your Mind

    Many parental ideas of ďworthwhileĒ majors are limited to computer science or business degrees because they are thought to guarantee a steady income. The truth is no major guarantees success, income, or even a job. And, even if that were the case, financial success does not buy happiness. Do not misunderstand me. I have a mortgage. I have bills to pay. Right now I am in a job that I tolerate simply because of responsibilities. But, each day I achieve small accomplishments, like writing this article, that will lead to the career that I want. In January, I will move from administration to sales, freeing up pockets of time here and there for writing.

    So understand that it doesnít have to be all or nothing. Work with your child, teen or young adult on rational steps they can take to achieve their dreams. One of my biggest faults is wanting success immediately. Remind your young adult that life is a journey. Iíve come to the conclusion that part of the joy of success is the process, and achieving your dreams cannot happen in an instant. If it did, what would we have to look forward to?

    Written by Sara Richmond WallsRate this article:

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