A word to the wise: kids are kids. They are not adults, and they should not make decisions about their education and schooling. That's why they have parents and teachers to watch over them, guide them, and sometimes give them a little push in the right direction. Be the adult in your relationship with your child. Don't be their friend: be their parent. Be the adult. Make the decision that is best for them...not what they always want or will make them happy. Do what is best for them.
Well said dragonrider32.
What you say is true for young kids, but come the tween years and beyond that is a different set of circumstances.
I am always amazed at how teens can be their own worst enemy and make poor choices no matter how much or little parenting they received as kids.
I agree...I was speaking of pre-teenageers. Teenagers...I wouldn't qualify as kids, but they are a whole different animal...chuckles.
well, a little friendship dosnt hurt as long as there is a clear understanding who makes the decisions, I find with my daughter at age 14 that being a friend has helped her to open up to me a tell me some of her feelings, but she clearly still understands who makes the decisions and our relationship is good
good for you starme. parents easily confuse their role. if you didn't have some friendly rapport with your daughter, she may never open up to you about important issues. I think respect is a two way street. forced respect from a parent is not earned respect, and kids will not feel open to communicate.
earned respect comes from love and caring enough to set clearly defined boundaries...and being consistent with consequences. the boundaries expand throughout childhood with level of maturity.
Exactly! Well Said, just like my daughter now , she has her first boyfriend, do I care much for him, well, no, but if I forbid her to see him she will rebell and run straight for him, its a first puppy love thing I have to understand ,it surley wont last long and she talks to me about him and thats good , plus she is gaining my trust alot because she can open up to me about her first love, that helps me to understand what is going on in her daily life and that helps me to quietly guide her in the right direction see
True, until they are of legal age to support themselves.
i agree somewhat, insofar as i do believe it is important to encourage your children to do all of their schoolwork and study, even if they think it is pointless. all academic pursuits have value.
but forcing a child to take piano or ballet lessons if their heart isn't in it is ridiculous. why not talk to your child and ask him what his interests are and allow him to pursue something he finds enjoyable? when your heart is in something, you devote more of yourself to it and derive much more from it than doing something you hate.
children need to develop the ability to make their own decisions and handle their own problems, and the only way to do that is to give them some room to stretch and grow instead of holding their hand all the time or stifling their creativity.
With younger kids that's true; but with kids old enough to be deciding about something like which college to go to, I think one of the most "adult" things parents can do is overcome their urge to want their children to do what they, the parents, think is best; and to be grown-up enough, and good-parent enough, to step back and let older kids make their own decisions (and, yes, sometimes mistakes). Different people have different ideas about what's "best" for any one person or another, and even the most well intentioned and sensible parents are often wrong about what's best for someone else.
A word to the wise, if you are capable of disregarding your older child's happiness, disregard the fact that he is a separate individual from you, and think you should tell him what choices he should make about his his after-high-school education; not only are coming up short on parental instinct/love, but you're not much of a friend either. Either way, that doesn't leave much material on which to base either type of relationship.
As with the comment earlier...I agree. Kids in elementary school are the ones I was talking about...teenagers are another kettle of fish. They are young adults...but still need guidance...and then some.
I have to agree with you here, Lisa. Once old enough to graduate, the minor should be allowed to have some say in the decision making process for a college. Very good response and I back you 100%.
Kids WILL get lost, without some guidance...
It's so heartbreaking when that happens, you don't want to know...
What do you suggest for the kids that SHOULD be making their own choices but refuse to do so? Not for college, but for high school? Mine is just barely realizing his future career choice should not be based on which teacher he gets along with the best and what they teach.
Good point. Kids are young, y'know....they really do NOT always have enough experience of the world in general to know what's best for them...I say it's heartbreaking, and I mean it, when I KNOW ALSO they have to make their own mistakes, just like we did...
Hopefully NOT irrevocable mistakes, though there are some.
I've had that too. One came and said she dropped law that day because the teacher was a jerk.
TL Minut, I don't think kids in high school should just be left without any guidance (of course), but I think they're less likely to feel entitled to making their choices on their own, just because most of them are aware that they'll still kids and still under eighteen, etc. With my own, I kind of offered the guidance in the direction of "keeping options open if you don't know for sure what you want to do". (You know, "Well, take all the courses you'll need to get into college; but you don't have to decide right now exactly what your major will be." Or something like, "If you're not sure you want to go to college, take the courses you'd need anyway, but take some that will help you if you decide not to go." - that type of thing.)
I think when kids get to be 18 (or close to it) they start to think they're old enough to make their own career/education decisions. Society and the law tells them that; and even if, "medically"/"scientifically", they won't really be "fully-grown" adults they're usually grown up enough to know what it isn't right for them and what they never want to be. Kids who are very bright (whether anyone recognizes it or not) often have trouble making a career choice because they have a lot of interests and aren't sure which one would make the best career. I'm not entirely positive I'm correct, because all of us, parents, (and former kids) muddle through and think things out as best we can; but I do think the 18-year-old who doesn't know yet what he wants to be has to be the one to figure that out for himself.
I think parents can support the positive choices, play devil's advocate and/or talk about their concerns about the ones they don't see as positive, and generally keep talking and listening - but I, personally, think it's wrong to try to tell a kid 18 or older what he has to do (other than staying out of trouble or knowing that he has to have a job of some kind, and if parents are paying his way for college he's expected not to "just fool around").
Just thoughts on this issue, because I think, one way or another, most parents deal with it. (I have one who got a degree in a field his father didn't particularly think was the best field, but that turned out to be a far more secure field than his father's choice would have been. (Besides, he happens to have skills more similar to mine than his father's.) Another one is aiming for more multiple degree and a specialized certificate, all at the same time. Still another one has had to patch together his own education and marketable skills, because he had a learning problem as a result of skull fracture in early infancy before I adopted him. All three of them are also building "their own thing"/business on the side.)
I guess I just think it all usually works out if we raise them with our values, encourage them to think in terms of building a good life and security, and leave how, exactly, they do those things to them. (Sorry for such a long post. I just find this subject interesting and worth discussing. )
As I stated, my comment was directed to elementary kids. Middle schoolers, high schoolers are different...and the amount of guidance realistically depends on the relationship between parents and child...and the attitude of the young adult as well. Guidance is needed...just with more care in including the young person. That age is difficult at best. Bless all parents as they go through the age. The good part...as your children get older and have their own...they come back and even say "Thank you" and "...I remember when I did that when I was younger, and it helped to remember what you did to help support me...".
I am undecided, sort of. I agree, yet I disagree.
In the early years of school, I was forced to go to art class and gym class. Later, I was forced to learn woodworking and metal shop. To this day I cannot draw a proper stick figure nor catch a ball thrown directly to me. I have no use of woodworking or metal creations. What was the point in this "education" I received? If you ask me, it was a waste of time. I would have preferred to have been learning something that would have been much more valuable to me, such as how to decipher the content of the books I read - rather than reading only for enjoyment.
As a middle school and high school child grows up...thery should be a partner in deciding what goes on in their education...if a junior partner. They should have input and they should be repected. But the big picture often is something they don't get...so there needs to be a parent and a teacher there to guide them and explain why. Each case is different...and unique...and good parents and teachers will deal with each child the way that best supports that child.
there have been recent studies and research that document that the brain is still developing after the age of 18 and full adulthood is not reached just because someone reached 18 years.
until mid 20's, the brain is still developing.
I agree that parents need to help guide, but not force decisions about something as important as college and career. and yes, each child is a separate individual and one may need more guidance than another. pushing students into college because that's what's expected can be a complete waste of time and money. look how many college kids don't make it.
high school requires some tough love at times and an abundance of understanding and open communication. parents make the mistake of not finding the middle ground and it takes listening and observation to find it. some are either too lax or too controlling.
I just found out it's Brain Awareness Week.
high school is where I remember having the power to choose my classes, but the guidance counselors were too rushed to be of any real assistance. I guess I'm saying that for me, it would have been better to have choices when I was younger so that by the time I was in high school I would have known what I wanted - because by the time I did get to high school, I was completely confused about my future.
I wasn't sure if this thread was directed at little kids or almost-grown kids, so my thoughts originally went to all those people who have had struggles with parents expecting them to do what the parents wanted to, as far as college choices, careers, etc. go.
With younger kids I agree with dragonrider32 that some amount of case-by-case consideration needs to be factored in. There's "guidance", but then there's "you're-going-to-take-piano-lessons-whether-you-like-it-or-not". I'm in favor of parents always being parents, but I don't think the definition of "parent" needs to include respect for the child and consideration of his happiness (within reason). I've never been of a fan of the the kind of thing - "You're going to eat those peas you don't like because they're good for you," or "You're going to eat everything on your plate because I think that's how much you ought to eat." I don't think it's not being a parent to serve the child, say, Lima beans, instead; and I really think it's just out-and-out wrong to disregard the fact that each person (children included) has his own, personal, level of appetite (and it varies from meal to meal). On the other hand, if it's a case of a kid who isn't happy because he can't stay up until 11 p.m. each night - too bad about his happiness on that one. That's ridiculous.
I actually did let my kids make their own educational choices, and it has worked out very well. Two of them were school haters. They wanted to be at home, so I kept them at home. They both went back to school this year for grade 8 and 9 by their own choice.
I went for p/t interviews a couple of days ago and the teachers were blown away by their level of maturity and respect for the teachers. They say they never have a problem with my kids because they really want the education they are receiving and work their butts off to get it. My son sometimes stays a half hour extra after school to get the work done. I think if kids know it's their decision to be there they hustle.
My kids also have friends who do absolutely nothing in school. It's March and some have not handed in an assignment yet this year. I don't know how they get away with it. If I was their parent.....
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