Wisdom from 30-Somethings to Parents

December 06, 2017

Hey there. We made it to Question 3 in our Wisdom from 30-Somethings Blog. “What would you tell your parents to do differently if you could reflect back on their parenting when you were a teenager and young adult?” Here is a fusion of their answers:

  1. Have your child take courses or an elective in a career-related subject BEFORE they declare a major. I didn’t really want to listen to my parents in college but they were paying the bills and in hindsight knew way more than I did! Have them shadow someone in the career they are interested in. Also, be an inspiration to your child. Be tough and set ground rules, but be a non judgmental stick or they’ll stop coming to you. Tell them their job is their education and health and to do their best in both. Don’t ever compare your child to another child because it can lower a child’s self-esteem and make them feel/believe they may not ever be good enough.
  2. I am actually very thankful for how my parents helped me through my college search and job search at the beginning of my career.  They pushed me to go farther away to school than most of my peers because they knew I would be the type of kid who would come home every weekend.  This forced me to stay away from home and fully immerse myself in the college environment.  I am forever grateful for that “shove.” They also put their feelings aside when I declared a major they knew wasn’t best for me out of high school.  At times I look back and wish they had told me to choose a more stable major rather than Musical Theater, however I learned from my experience. It brought me “out of my shell,” and I learned from that what I really wanted to do.  Then they also helped me to connect with a career coach when I realized living the theater lifestyle was not for me.
  3. That individual decisions aren’t really that important, longitudinally speaking. Location of college, major chosen and job choices are just that, choices. More important is the framework for decision-making. If kids know what they value – challenges, security, adventure, travel, steady pay check, whatever – they will eventually make enough right decisions to make them happy. One decision doesn’t matter, but the accretion of these choices will dictate much.
  4. Do not put so much pressure on me! I was always under so much pressure to do 110%, focus and work all the time. Recommending you, Jo, was the best thing they could have done because then it felt like we worked on my future together, rather than being pressured by my parents.
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