Parenting is full of hopes, dreams and expectations. No one knows what lies ahead for your little ones, but preparing them to be their best in a competitive world may end up causing more problems than it solves.
Here are six dreams parents have for their kids they need to reconsider:
1. Follow in my footsteps
When parents dream of having children, they often see their little ones following the path they carved in their own lives.
From family life to values, beliefs to career, some parents try to map out their kids' lives without ever consulting them. But successful parenting means you are raising an independent person; one who may not wish to do things as you did.
Pressuring your children directly or indirectly to live life as you did means you may not be paying attention to the person they are, or who they want to be. Encourage your children to live the life that would make them happiest and most satisfied, even if it defies what you want for them.
2. Follow my leader
Most parents want their kids to follow in the faith they were brought up in. But your bright and open-minded children may have some broader views that bring them to a different spiritual perspective.
Not supporting your child's chosen faith can hinder her desire to confide in you and have an open and trusting relationship. Everyone's faith is their own, and your kids need to pursue a relationship with their Higher Power on their own terms to become complete people.
3. Follow the money
It's no wonder why parents can sometimes encourage their kids to pursue high paying careers, even to their own detriment. Money is an extremely important issue but pushing a high salary at the expense of passion and happiness can have devastating, lifelong effects.
Children should always have backup plans in case their passion is not profitable, but don't push dream jobs aside because of lower earnings. You can't put a price on happiness.
4. Winner takes all
Teaching kids to win at all costs can come in many forms. It can become the drive to take on roles and titles of power and importance to the detriment of work-life balance and contentment. It can be a grab for honor and prestige, focusing on how they will be perceived by others instead of how satisfied they are in life.
Parents can play up the awards and accolades of achievement while ignoring the stress, competitiveness, and exhaustion that comes with winning. Good health and a loving support system may not be as flashy, but can come in real handy in a crisis. Titles and awards won't keep your kids warm at night.
5. Family business
Families can feel the need to continue a legacy, and sometimes kids can get caught in the downward stream of inheriting a family business. Heritage and honor are hard to contend with when your kid's dreams take them down a path far from the family tree. Bringing outsiders in to run a historically family-run business can be a tough decision, but it may be better than leaving the company in the hands of someone with the right last name but who lacks passion, drive and ability.
6. Do as I say
All parents want their kids to do better in life then they did. They want more opportunities, chances, and successes for their children.
Parents also want their kids to avoid the mistakes they made so the journey can be a bit less bumpy. But if these hiccups are happening as the kids are growing up, parents have to realize they are jeopardizing their kids' future by modeling the behavior they don't want. Children will live what they see, so a parent's dream to warn and will their little ones onto a better path is an unwinnable fight. Show the change to feed the dream.
Everyone wants success for their children. But making sure achievement is balanced with health and happiness will keep big dreams from being a heavy weight on their shoulders.