The other day my son and I were driving home from church. We pass a very small, modest house and my son said “That’s the kind of house I want!” I was a little shocked as the house was very small and nondescript. My son is academically gifted and I had visions him being a CEO, famous artist, etc. Basically, I visioned him having a lucrative career and along with that, I did not envision such a tiny, unremarkable home. I asked him why that house appealed to him. He then went on to tell me big houses require a lot of work and money to maintain and he did not want to spend his time, money, and energy maintaining and extravagant house. He would much rather travel, and work just enough to afford the things he enjoys. Spending so much money on a house did not make sense to him.
This day I learned that my dreams for may child are just that – My Dreams. He has a mind of his own and, from what I can tell, a pretty good plan. I work in higher education and I often encounter parents pushing their dreams onto their children. I try to encourage the parents and the students to make decisions they will be happy with in the long run. Although I never tell my son that he shouldn’t take a certain path or judge his decisions, I do realize that I may imply my disappointment, but saying things like “Why would you want to do that? I have to be careful with my tone because I have always told my son that he would be free to do anything that does not harm himself or others. I will always take into consideration his best interests and will guide him along the way, but I will also trust that sometimes his vision for himself is what’s best for him. It is his life to live and I want him to be happy.