- Family and Parenting»
- Parenting Skills, Styles & Advice
Soul Destroying Parents
The Dream Crusher
There are parents who always encourage their children to pursue their dreams no matter what it is. To these parents, no dream and/or goal is too fantastical, outlandish, and/or bizarre. It is these parents' mantra that whatever can be imagined, can be ultimately achieved. If their children are somewhat hesitant in pursuing their dream, they tell their children never be fearful regarding achieving their goals. They also remain their children that there maybe some pitfalls along the way but those pitfalls will make them stronger.
These parents also inform their children that just because it was not done before, does not mean that it cannot be done now. They are also not of the security mode that one must follow a safe and assured path to success. They believe that one should never be afraid to achieve his/her dreams. They further inform their children that those who achieve their dreams and goals are no different than them and they can do achieve whatever they visualize as doing.
However, there are parents who are diametrically opposite of the abovementioned parents. If a child of these parents voices a desire to achieve a dream and/or goal which this parents deemed outlandish, this child is often told to taper his/her goals to a more realistic one. He/she is further told that one needs a job which guarantees security and a certain comfort level. In essence, he/she is told bluntly to stop living in a dream world, wake up and face reality so to speak.
These parents are the soul destroying parents. They portend that they are only teaching their children to be more practical and realistic regarding their children's life goals. Whenever their children presents them with a goal, if the parents decide that such a goal is too phantagasmorgical, he/she is swiftly discouraged from pursuing such a goal and told to conform to the familial parameters regarding his/her goals.
In fact, these parents contend that one is better off if his/her goals whatever they may be more aligned with societal realities. For example, if their child wishes to be an actor and in the creative arts, such parents remind them that such goals are not attainable for the majority of people. Also he/she is told by the parents to attain a goal which is "more foreseeable" and "more congruent to reality".
Oftentimes, some soul destroying parents cannot, do not, and/or will not visualize a lifestyle outside of their very specific parameters. Many of these parents steadfastly maintain what was good enough for them is good enough for their children. They contend that it is never good for a person to have such "convoluted" goals because he/she will often be disappointed in the long run. They maintain that when one has realistic goals, he/she is happier.
These are the parents who strongly inculcate his/her child to get a real job and/or backup job if the latter wishes to pursue a lifepath which the former deem to be impractical. It is highly inconceivable to these parents that their children often have talent in the areas which the parents consider to be impractical. To these parents, a practical goal is the bulwark which their child should aspire to, not any seemingly fantastical goal which will never materialize.
There was an instance of a childhood acquaintance who exhibited prodigious talent in art; however, her father indicated that the girl should not even consider art as a career. Each time she showed her father her sketches, she was admonished to choose a "more realistic and practical" career to earn a living from. Her father vehemently contended that one can never make a living from art. He kept pushing her to pursue accounting which he always dreamt of being; however, he had to drop out of school in the 8th grade, eventually ending up being a postal clerk. According to this father, being an accountant assured a steady income and living.
This girl did pursue accounting in college. However, she did not like being an accountant. This was evident in that she was eventually terminated from her job. Subsequently, she pursue her true love, art and fashion design, while working clerical jobs. Of course, her father deemed this to be quite incomprehensible. He wanted his daughter to continue with her accounting career but she would have none of it. She absolutely hated accounting.
While she was an accountant, she hated her job and often performed less than her best. She would work just enough to keep from being terminated. Her work performance was just satisfactory to say the least. She felt wrong and knew it! She started to stay out of work, using sick days although she was not sick. She was absent so much that she eventually was terminated. She did not like her job and it manifested in her technical work performance and in her time and attendance.
However, she pursued a designing career which she now loves and is thriving in. A second instance of this is one of the higher bosses at my last job. She was a highly placed executive who had a corporate law background. She initially wanted a career in the entertainment business. She was an extremely beautiful woman. In addition to that, she was quite prodigious in her acting, dancing, and singing talent.
Her parents informed her that pursuing an entertainment career would be quite unprofitable and she should pursue a more stable career i.e. law. So she reluctantly gave up any chances to pursue the career that she loved and instead settled for her parents' desire for a more practical career. She was not a happy boss to put it mildly and eventually had to leave the job. Many of her associates contend that she constantly voiced how unhappy she was regarding her career choices and how she displaced her unhappiness upon subordinate staff thus creating a toxic work environment.
There are parents who exists only in the security mode. They regard security as the most important thing in life. They contend that without security, one just exists in the flotsam of life. They maintain that it is better to have a secure job and/or lifestyle no matter how mind numbingly boring than to have a less secure but more exciting job and/or lifestyle.
Yes, security is this parents' nirvana. It is a religion to these parents. Their children are constantly brainwashed with the premise of pursuing more practical hobbies and subjects. These children are further instructed not to pursue so-called frivulous and pointless pursuits. If they have the audacity to pursue such pursuits, the parents harangue them that what they are doing is an utter waste of time.
These parents believe in going on the least resistant and the most traveled path so to speak. They contend that when one pursues a job and/or lifepath which is secure, there are no worries. They further maintain that their child has protection so to speak. They equate security with comfort and less stress. They do not want their children to be as stressfree as possible. They portend that if their children pursue jobs and/or lifepaths which they deemed to be less secure and stable, they will have economic insecurity and uncertainty which would lead to stress. They simply do not want that for their children so they "guide" their children to the "comfortable" and "secure" path whatever that path would be.
Then there are parents who are purely in the survival mode. Everything to these parents is mere survival. If their child pursue a job/career and other lifepath, it is ascertained if he/she can make a maintainable living from it. If not, these parents contend, it should not be pursued. To these parents, a job/career is not something to be enjoyed but just to earn one a living. To them, whether a job/career is enjoyable is a totally moot issue to say the least. I remember one father telling his daughter to pursue a profession where one can earn a living. The father further told her that it is totally inconsequential as to whether she enjoyed the job or not- she had to make a living and that was that to put it succinctly!
Some parents are jealous of their children's prodigious talents. They contend that since they were afraid to and/or did not pursue their own individual goals, they are loathe to give their children the encouragement to pursue such goals because that would remind them of what the former could have achieved. They maintain that since they did not utilize their prodigious talents and settled, their children would also. They simply do not wish for their children to outsucceed them in any way.
Other parents may have a groupthink consensus particularly if they are from a certain socioeconomic, racial, and/or ethnic background. They contend that there are only certain areas and arenas that their children should go into. If their children express a desire to pursue an entirely different area, they are informed that such areas and arenas are usually beyond and out of the purview of those in their socioeconomic, racial, and/or ethnic background. For example, while I was in college, a professor of mine who came from a blue collar background told us that his father discouraged him from attending college and being a professor because those from blue collar backgrounds just do not do that!
What these soul destroying parents do not realize that their children are individuals with their own unique talents which should be encouraged. Many of these parents have quite an atavistic viewpoint regarding job/career and lifepath goals. They contend that there are only certain parameters as to what can be reasonably achieved regarding these areas. Anything outside of those parameters are often deemed quite improbable therefore unachievable by these parents.
As a result of their soul destructive ideology, many a child's dream is often crushed. He/she often sadly succumb to his/her parents idea of a job/career and/or lifestyle, just meandering in an often less than desired job/career and/or lifestyle instead of living his/her dreams. He/she is just going through the motions, often later having an epiphany of regrets.
Then there are other children who become quite rebellious and often pursue their dreams without parental support. They have an innate sense of self, refusing to settle for someone else's definition of who they are. They maintain that they will live their own authentic life. They further assert that they will succeed and/or fail on their own terms and that is fine with them. In their estimation, they would rather happy following and pursuing their own dreams than to be miserable adhering to their parents' dreams.
In summation, there are parents who deliberately destroy their children's dreams. They contend that they are only teaching their children to be more practical regarding pursuing their life goals. They further maintain that those who pursue impractical dreams will often be disappointed in the long run and they want to prevent this. Remember the adage that the road to Hell is often paved with good intentions. Well, the dreams of many children with quite noticeable and prodigious talents, especially in the arts, are destroyed. In addition to that, these children's self-confidence is undermined because of the constant invalidation of their innate talents. Such children often settle for more secure and stable jobs/careers much to their regret in later life. Then there are children who fly in the face of parental authority, electing to vehemently pursue their own dreams and live life on their own terms without any regrets.
© 2012 Grace Marguerite Williams