As a parent you’ve got lots of responsibilities and probably feel a serious pressure for helping your kids grow up to be people you’re proud of. It is important to do the best job you can in parenting them. You don’t want to be labeled as the parent of a serial killer or lazy bum. You want to be proud of them and what they’ve done with their lives and who they’ve become, and you recognize that you play an important role in that happening.
It’s important though to remember that they have to be their own person, they will become their own person, and you’re more responsible for shaping than forcing them to be something or someone. They ultimately will make their own decisions and go their own way. You can only be confident in who you are as a person and parent and in what you taught them.
The biggest challenge is letting them have their own dreams in life. I was talking with a parent the other day who said her daughter wants to be a grocery clerk so she can tap her nails on the keyboard like they do. It doesn’t seem like the big-paycheck, big-office dream a parent would have for their child, but because it’s what her daughter wants, she’ll support her until she dreams a new dream.
The bottom line is that you can try to force your kids into a role, into a mold that you think they can fill, but more often than not that backfires. Instead, choose to support them and the successful path they’ve chosen for their lives. Don’t ruin their dream because it’s not your dream.
“I never wanted to be the next Bruce Lee. I just wanted to be the first Jackie Chan.” Jackie Chan